North Korea's nuclear test site is "primed and ready" for another detonation, 38 North, the website of a US research institute, as concerns grew over a spike in military tensions in Northeast Asia.
"North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Primed and Ready," read the headline of an article published by 38 North. Satellite imagery, taken on April 12, showed "continued activity around the North Portal, new activity in the Main Administrative Area, and a few personnel around the site's Command Center", it said.
At the North Portal, what appears to be a small vehicle or trailer is seen outside the entrance, 38 North said. "In the courtyards of the Main Administrative Area are approximately 11 probable tarp-covered pallets of equipment or supplies, a formation of personnel, and several individuals walking about."
The South's joint chiefs of staff has warned that North Korea could carry out a different type of nuclear test. North Korea watchers talk about a "Pakistan-type" test of blasting several bombs simultaneously, including a "boosted fission" bomb for the development of a hydrogen bomb.
In an earlier article, 38 North said Pyongyang was excavating a tunnel supporting its strongest ever detonation. In its previous test, Pyongyang claimed to have conducted a successful nuclear warhead explosion test aimed at acquiring technology for the production of diversified and miniaturized nuclear warheads to be carried by strategic missiles.
North Korea's nuclear and long-range rocket tests triggered tough UN sanctions but leader Kim Jong-un has vowed to step up the development of atomic bombs and rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Lim Chang-won = email@example.com