Kim Jong-un preparing to detonate MULTIPLE nuclear bombs, satellite images show as West mobilises forces for war games
KIM Jong-un is preparing to detonate several more nuclear warheads five years after the last A-bomb tests, satellite pictures suggest.
Analysts say work is finished on a mountain tunnel ready for a test, and work in progress on another tunnel means more are planned.
North Korea watchers warned Kim could detonate a nuke at any time despite the US vowing to “respond quickly” to such a threat.
The satellite images show the Punggye-ri testing site last Sunday, June 13.
Ongoing rebuilding and preparations can be seen at an area called Tunnel No. 3, said a report by Beyond Parallel, a project of Washington think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
This site is “apparently now complete and ready for an oft-speculated seventh nuclear test”, the authors say.
Analysts also spotted new construction at Tunnel No. 4, which collapsed after North Korea mothballed the site in 2018.
The report says: “The most recent image shows new indications of activity below the entrance to Tunnel No. 4,” which strongly suggests “an effort to reenable it for potential future testing.”
And it concludes: “The timing of a seventh nuclear test now rests solely within the hands of Kim Jong-un.”
It comes after warning from South Korea that the hermit regime in the North had completed preparations for another nuke blast.
Foreign Minister Park Jin said “only a political decision remains” from Kim Jong-un on whether to go ahead.
He warned the North would pay a severe price if it goes ahead following talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington.
Last week, US and South Korean diplomats urged Kim to “make the right decision”.
Park said then: “If North Korea ventures into another nuclear test, I think it will only strengthen our deterrence and also international sanctions.
“North Korea should change its mind and make the right decision.”
Kim’s sixth and biggest nuclear test was in September 2017.
It triggered the equivalent of a 6.3 magnitude earthquake – ten times more powerful than any previous test.
North Korea claimed it was a hydrogen bomb – which if true it would a chilling leap forward from uranium fission warheads.
Experts cast doubt on claims the regime had developed a true fusion bomb, but said it could be a hybrid device generating more power than a conventional A-bomb.
North Korea also claimed to have miniaturised its atomic device, an essential step for putting it on a ballistic missile to fire at the US.
Growing missile threat
Yesterday North Korea reacted with fury as the US announced massive war games on its doorstep.
Japan and South Korean forces will join the Rim of the Pacific exercises involving warships, planes and thousands of troops.
The drills from June 29 to August 4 will involve 26 nations, 38 warships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 troops.
The US Navy called it the “world’s largest international maritime exercise”.
It added forces “will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces”.
South Korea, the US and Japan also plan missile warning drills and ballistic missile search and tracking exercises in early August to counter North Korea’s growing airborne threats.
North Korea accused the West of destabilising the region and ramping up the risk of military conflict.
Ri Myong-hak, from the state-run Institute for Disarmament and Peace, said: “Due to the aggressive and hegemonic Indo-Pacific strategy of the US, the region is being exposed to the constant danger of military conflicts.
“This, in turn, is of negative influence to the Korean Peninsula.
“The world should discern who is the real culprit of violating peace and remain vigilant about the military moves of the US.”
Kim has conducted more missile launches so far this year than in any other previous year in an alarming warning to Seoul and Washington.
Earlier this month, North Korea fired eight ballistic missiles from several locations at the same time as Kim boasted that he would “shake the world” with yet more rocket tests.
Analysts warned Kim could speed up nuclear testing plans to distract North Korea’s population from the disastrous Covid outbreak.
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