North Korea yet to show any sign of immediate nuclear test: South Korea


North Korea has yet to show any sign that it will carry out a nuclear test in the very near future, but the country is ready to hold the seventh of its kind, South Korea’s Defense Minister Lee Jong Sup said Monday.

The minister also said during a parliamentary session that Pyongyang has continued to prepare for the launch of new types of intercontinental and short-range ballistic missiles, which would pose security threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

Lee’s remarks came amid heightened worries over possible provocation by North Korea against the ongoing U.S.-South Korea joint military drill, conducted from Aug 22 through Thursday.

As an apparent backlash against the exercise by Washington and Seoul, Pyongyang fired two cruise missiles on Aug 17. The South and the North remain technically in a state of war as the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

North Korea has been strengthening its surveillance on the military drill between the United States and South Korea, while bolstering measures to curb the novel coronavirus outbreak and restoring facilities hit by recent torrential rain, Lee said.

Earlier this month, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol suggested “audacious initiatives,” including economic aid, could be provided to the North if the country takes practical steps toward denuclearization, but the offer was dismissed by Pyongyang.



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