SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) — North Korea has completed all technical preparations for a nuclear test and can carry it out in a few days if it makes a decision, a South Korean intelligence source said Wednesday.
North Korea had dug up a tunnel for a test at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, but the tunnel has now been plugged with dirt and concrete, the source said, suggesting that all measuring and other equipment has already been installed inside.
It was unclear when the tunnel was sealed.
North Korea on Wednesday vowed to boost its nuclear arsenal, evidently irked by the UN Security Council’s unanimous adoption of more sanctions against the renegade country.
“We will take measures to boost and strengthen our defensive military power including nuclear deterrence,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry said according to the official KCNA news agency.
The comments came just hours after the UN Security Council unanimously condemned the North’s rocket launch in December and expanded existing sanctions.
The North also said there will be no more denuclearization talks. “Due to the U.S.’s worsening hostility toward North Korea, the six-party talks and the joint September 19 statement were rendered null.”
The country is reportedly said to be open to negotiations on peace and security, but not denuclearization.
Yonhap’s Kim Eun-jung reports: “North Korea has completed all technical preparations for a nuclear test and can carry it out in a few days if it makes a decision, a South Korean intelligence source said Wednesday.”
Japan launching spy satellite on Sunday to monitor North Korea