South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol assured Friday that Pyongyang “is ready” to conduct a nuclear test “at any time”.
Asked about the U.S. State Department’s forecast that North Korea could conduct a nuclear test before the end of the month, the South Korean leader assured that his neighbor was “completely ready” to carry it out even during his inauguration, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
“We believe that not only at the end of this month, but since my inauguration, (North Korea) is completely ready and able to do it whenever it decides to do it,” Yoon has assured.
These statements have come days after the country’s intelligence service director, Kim Kyou Hyun, made an unscheduled visit to Washington, generating speculation that he would have met with US intelligence to coordinate their response to a possible North Korean provocation.
This is not the first time South Korea has warned of the possibility of North Korea’s imminent nuclear test launch, as experts believe the country could be preparing for its first nuclear test since September 2017.
Since Yoon took office in May, Pyongyang has conducted a series of short- to long-range missile tests, and is now expected to conduct what would be its seventh nuclear test.
Last June, the defense ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea announced an agreement to resume joint military exercises to “search and track ballistic missiles” in order to serve as a deterrent to North Korea.