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Test Imminent? Activity at North Korean Nuclear Site Has US Intelligence Worried

© AFP 2023 / KIM JAE-HWAN / A mock North Korean missile is pictured during a rally denouncing North Korea's nuclear test and its recent missile launches, at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul
A mock North Korean missile is pictured during a rally denouncing North Korea's nuclear test and its recent missile launches, at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul - Sputnik International
An unusual uptick in activity at North Korea’s underground nuclear testing facilities picked up by US foreign signals intelligence may mean another nuclear test is imminent.

According to Jerusalem Online, Washington is growing concerned that the Strategic Rocket Forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will launch yet another test of its nuclear weapons when senior Chinese leaders arrive in Washington for meetings with US leadership on Wednesday.

A H-IIA rocket, carrying a Michibiki 2 satellite, one of four satellites that will augment regional navigational systems, lifts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the southwestern island of Tanegashima, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo June 1, 2017. - Sputnik International
DPRK Blasts Tokyo Over Spy Satellite Launch

Just yesterday, US President Donald Trump thanked Beijing for its efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula but noted "it has not worked out." The statement was widely seen as an attempt by Trump to embarrass Chinese President Xi Jinping, Axios reported, for "failing to change Kim Jong-un’s deranged behavior and give him one last chance to fix it… and signaling to the Chinese that they’ve run out of time." 

What’s more, Air China resumed flights between Pyongyang and Beijing on May 5, the South China Morning Post reported.

Axios also pointed out that the tweet may have been a way to create more leverage for negotiations with Beijing by not wanting to appear desperate for Beijing’s assistance on the Korean Peninsula. "Lots of people have written off Trump as a sucker for the Chinese, but he’s written [in "The Art of the Deal"]: 'I protect myself by being flexible. I never get too attached to one approach.'"

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping by telephone at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea in this handout picture provided by the Presidential Blue House and released by Yonhap on May 11, 2017 - Sputnik International
South Korean President Said Summit With DPRK is Needed - Spy Chief Nominee

US Forces Korea, a branch of US Pacific Command, has adjusted military options accordingly, JOL added, to provide Trump with a menu of choices should he live by the word of top officials in his administration that the era of “strategic patience” toward Pyongyang has come to an end.

A highly classified North Korean document, meanwhile, shows Pyongyang has developed GPS and imagery-guided 300mm artillery units capable of firing multiple rockets at once against targets 200 kilometers (124 miles) away, according to Korea Joongang Daily. 

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