Seoul, March 21 (IANS) South Korean authorities on Monday said North Korea could conduct another nuclear test soon.
The South Korean government believes Pyongyang is technically ready to conduct another nuclear test as its nuclear test site, Punggye-ri in the northeastern part of the country, continues to show signs of activity since January, EFE news reported.
On January 6, North Korea carried out its fourth nuclear test, although on this occasion, in contrast to the previous tests of 2006, 2009 and 2013, the detonated explosive device was a hydrogen bomb.
38 North, a blog about North Korea, maintained by the Johns Hopkins University in the US, has already warned that continued activity at the test site means it is highly likely the site is capable of supporting additional tests.
The January nuclear test was followed by the launch of a space rocket on February 7, which the international community believed was a disguised ballistic missile test.
In response, the UN Security Council imposed harsh financial and trade sanctions on the country to choke off its revenue sources, while South Korea, the US and Japan ordered additional unilateral sanctions.
The sanctions, together with the annual joint military exercises by South Korea and the US, have escalated tensions with North Korea, which has given several warnings and fired several short-range and medium-range missile in to the Sea of Japan.