White House: North Korea May Be Ready To Conduct A Nuclear Test By End Of Month
WASHINGTON - White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that North Korea may be ready to conduct a nuclear test by the end of the month, just a week after a state department spokesman said that North Korea is set to possibly resume nuclear tests in the near future.
Psaki stated, "The United States assesses that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea could be ready to conduct a test there as early as this month. This would be its seventh such test. We have shared this information with allies and partners, and are closely coordinating with them".
State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter had also said, "The United States assesses that the DPRK is preparing its Punggye-ri test site and could be ready to test there as early as this month. This assessment is consistent with the DPRK's own recent public statements".
The last nuclear test by North Korea was in September 0f 2017, which was followed by the testing of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) that had the capability of reaching the United States homeland.
This would be the first time since North Korea began its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile testing that it carries out a nuclear test. It has already broken its moratorium in March when it test fired an ICBM.
Psaki stated, "Our intelligence assessment is consistent with the DPRK's recent public statements and destabilizing actions, including the test launch of multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles".
U.S. President Joe Biden is set to visit South Korea and Japan on May 20th to May 24th as the White House closely monitors North Korea for any sign of provocations, including a nuclear test.
Psaki had stated, "This is information, again, we have shared with our partners and allies, and of course will certainly be a topic of discussion when the president travels next week".
According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, Psaki had said that the visit to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) is a "step that is taken by many who visit the region".