North Korea may test a nuclear weapon this weekend, according to U.S. government sources.
The North has reportedly installed a nuclear device inside one of the tunnels at its Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, reports Voice of America’s Steve Herman, citing government and other sources. A provocation is expected Saturday, but it could possibly come sooner.
Saturday is the “Day of the Sun,” the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korean founder. This would be the North’s sixth nuclear test.
“We have no comment at this time, but we will be watching closely,” a National Security Council official told VOA.
Reporters in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, are being told to be ready to evacuate the city at a moment’s notice, signaling that tensions on the peninsula may soon skyrocket.
During March, extensive tunneling was detected extensive tunneling around Mt. Mantap, where the test site is located. The testing area is believed to now be capable of supporting underground tests with higher explosive yields, reports 38 North, a research site run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
Observers later detected the possible installation of instrumentation and equipment, as well communications cables.
38 North is now reporting that Punggye-ri is “primed and ready.”
There is also the possibility that North Korea will test an intercontinental ballistic missile in the days to come. They have threatened to do so multiple times.
News of a possible test comes as the a U.S. Navy carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson sails towards Korea. In Syria, President Donald Trump demonstrated what happens when a country “crosses the line;” however, North Korea’s weapons program makes the situation on the Korean peninsula much more complex. A sixth North Korean nuclear weapons test will put Trump’s resolve to the test.
The North Korean nuclear threat has puzzled world leaders for decades.
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