Home Foreign South Korea Sees Oct.16-Nov.7 Window For N.Korea Nuclear Test

South Korea Sees Oct.16-Nov.7 Window For N.Korea Nuclear Test


Seoul, – South Korean lawmakers on Wednesday said North Korea has completed preparations for a nuclear test and a possible window for carrying it out could be between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7.

South Korean lawmakers who were briefed by its spy agency said preparations for a possible nuclear test by North Korea, which would be the first since 2017, had been completed at the Punggye-ri test tunnel.

Two legislators told reporters after a briefing by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) that the Punggye-ri test tunnel had been a place where the reclusive state conducted six underground tests from 2006 onward.

According to the legislators, the timing of the test could be determined by events like the party congress in China, North Korea’s main ally, and the midterm elections in the United States.

They added that it would also depend on whether Pyongyang can bring an outbreak of COVID-19 under control.

One of the legislators, Youn Kun-young said “the NIS said they cannot calculate the probability but assumed that North Korea would make a comprehensive decision based on international relations and its COVID situation.”

The other lawmaker, Yoo Sang-bum, said the NIS sees North Korea’s earlier claim of an end to COVID-19 as “unreliable” because it has repeatedly locked down and then reopened areas near the Chinese border where “mass vaccinations” are underway.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared victory over COVID-19 and eased some restrictions in August.

However, the country has never confirmed how many people caught the virus, apparently lacking the means to conduct widespread testing.

Earlier, Kim suggested that the isolated country could begin COVID-19 vaccinations in November, warning of a resurgence in outbreaks as levels of immunity formed from previous infections decline around October. (Reuters/NAN)

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