N. Korea may be preparing for nuclear test: IAEA Chief
Updated: 2022-06-07 13:50:05 KST
The chief of the IAEA has expressed concerns that North Korea may be preparing for a nuclear test.
Addressing the agency's Board of Governors on Monday, Director-General Rafael Grossi explained that one of the tunnel entrances at the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, in the north of the country, has been re-opened, as part of possible preparations for a nuclear test.
He added that this was consistent with similar activity for previous nuclear tests in North Korea.
He further noted that a nuclear test goes against the UN Security Council, and would cause serious concern.
In related news, the U.S. State Department has also raised concern over the possibility that the North could conduct a nuclear test in the near future.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price, called the situation something that Washington has warned of for some time, adding that it is a contingency that the U.S. has been planning for.
Against this backdrop, a senior U.S. official highlighted that Washington and its two closest Asian allies - Seoul and Tokyo - remain ready to counter any threat posed by the North.
Speaking during a forum jointly hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Korea Foundation, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink, however, commented that the door to diplomacy remains open.
He further added that the U.S. does and will not link its humanitarian assistance for the North to progress in denuclearization talks with the regime.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.