South Korea: North Korea Has Been Testing A Nuclear Detonation Device
SOUTH KOREA - According to a South Korean official, North Korea has been testing a 'nuclear detonation device' for weeks, likely in preparation for a nuclear test, but that it is unlikely to conduct a nuclear test in the next couple of days, according to Kim Tae-hyo, who is the deputy director of the National Security Office (NSO), according to NK News.
Satellite photos of North Korea's main Yongbyon nuclear complex also show continued operations at the facility, with signs that 'some facilities' are being expanded, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.
Yonhap reported that commercial satellite photos taken from April 27th to May 14th of the Pyongyang nuclear facility indicate 'ongoing operations' at its 5 MWe reactor, along with efforts to expand construction of buildings near the experimental light water reactor, citing a post on the 38 North website.
38 North, which states that it's a website that is "devoted to informed analysis of North Korea" also said "Taken together, these activities suggest a longer-term investment in further developing the country's nuclear weapons program".
The 38 North website also said that more vehicles have been observed around the 5 MWe reactor, as well as a nearby spent fuel storage building than usual since late April. The vehicles included cargo trucks and 'as many as three tractor trailers'.
It also said that there has not been any new activity at the experimental light water reactor, which 'has yet to start operations', but that the construction of buildings near it 'appears to be ongoing'.
"Separate from the reactor, construction continues on a small group of buildings [south of the experimental light reactor]" 38 North stated. "The purpose of this small complex is unknown".
According to the South Korean military, North Korea 'appears' to have completed preparations for another nuclear test. The last test that the country carried out was in September, 2017 and it had been their sixth test.