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North Korea ready for another nuclear test: South Korea

North Korea on Friday had conducted its fifth and most powerful atomic test that drew widespread condemnation. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Seoul, South Korea Sep 12, 2016, 04.37 AM (IST)
The South Korean Defence Ministry warned that the North is ratcheting up another threat against its rivals. 

Intelligence authorities in South Korea said on Monday that Pyongyang has completed preparations for another nuclear test and could carry out the blast at any time. 

Officials in Seoul and Washington are keeping a close watch on the developments in Pyongyang. 

North Korea on Friday had conducted its fifth and most powerful atomic test that drew widespread condemnation. 

The yield from Friday's test was estimated at 10 kilotons, almost twice as much as the one conducted only eight months ago.

Pyongyang said it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile and that its rivals and the United Nations have been powerless to contain the threat. 

The Seoul government official said that the North might be conducting the test in a previously unused tunnel at its Punggye-ri site. 

Meanwhile, South Korea and the United States held an annual dialogue to discuss several security issues including North Korea's threat. 

The United States assured its commitment to the defence of Seoul at the bilateral defence dialogue. 

On Friday, the UN Security Council also agreed to start work on new measures. 

Five sets of UN sanctions since the first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt the North's nuclear drive so far.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

 
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