North Korea has completed preparations for a nuclear test and is waiting for the best time to carry it out, a South Korean lawmaker said, citing information from the Seoul spy service.
“The preparations for a nuclear test have been completed and they are just looking for the right moment,” said lawmaker Ha Tae-keung after being briefed by the National Intelligence Service, on the eve of US President Joe Biden’s visit to South Korea. .
Washington has previously said it believes there is a “genuine possibility” of North Korea carrying out a nuclear test as Biden makes his first visit to Asia.
The US president arrives in Seoul on Friday afternoon.
“Our intelligence services reflect the real possibility” of nuclear-capable missile tests or of a nuclear weapon being tested during Biden’s trip, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.
Satellite images indicate that North Korea is preparing to carry out a nuclear test, and the United States and South Korea have warned for weeks that it could happen any day.
Pyongyang last week announced its first case of covid-19 and has since reported hundreds of thousands of daily “fever” cases.
Analysts have pointed out that a test would allow the regime to distract the population from the outbreak of infections.