Kim Jong-un may be in the final phases of preparing for a new nuclear test
Recent satellite images appear to show activity at North Korea nuclear site, Punggye-ri, which has caused concerns a nuclear weapon launch is imminent.
The imagery apparently shows three to four vehicles or equipment trailers at the site’s North Portal entrance and ground texture reportedly reveals the existence of communications cables.
The SAIS report said: “Apart from several mining carts at the West Portal [of the site], there is no significant activity at the other areas of the test site.
Satellite images of a North Korea nuclear site shows activity
"The lack of activity may mean that test preparations are in their final stages.
"Also notable, water is being pumped out of the portal and draining downhill to the east and west, presumably to keep the tunnel dry for monitoring or communications equipment.”
It comes as a Beijing-based diplomat warned Kim Jong-un could be preparing a launch to celebrate his late grandfather’s birthday.
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The lack of activity may mean that test preparations are in their final stages.
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The diplomat said: "It concerns me that the North is doing excavation work at two tunnels [of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site].
"There are chances that the North will conduct an additional nuclear test, though I cannot say for sure that it will come around the summit between the US and China [in early April] or Kim Il-sung's birthday [April 15].
"It could be done around April 25 when it celebrates the anniversary of the Korean People's Army."
A report claims the satellite images may mean that test preparations are in their final stages
Tensions have been rising between the US and North Korea over the missile launches
His ancestor Kim Il-sung, also known as the Eternal President of the Republic, founded North Korea in 1948.
The SAIS, also known as 38 North, claims the recent activity at the nuclear site could be some kind of deception by communist despot.
Tensions continue to rise between North Korea and America as the US military amasses at the hermit state's borders.
Kim Jong-un previously announced his military was close to launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States.
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Figure 1. Event locations (approximate) vis-à-vis tunnel portals with conjectured tunnel projections.
The Kim regime has threatened to reduce America to “ashes” over the build-up.
In a statement, the North Korean government said: “The Korean People's Army will reduce the bases of aggression and provocation to ashes with its invincible Hwasong rockets tipped with nuclear warheads and reliably defend the security of the country and its people's happiness in case the US and the South Korean puppet forces fire even a single bullet at the territory of the DPRK.”
North Korea has conducted a total of five nuclear tests, with the last believed to have been carried out on September 9 last year.