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People's Daily Online

S.Korea says DPRK can conduct 5th nuke test at any time

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 13:25, March 21, 2016

SEOUL, March 21 -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) can conduct another nuclear test at any time when the leadership makes a decision, Seoul's unification ministry said Monday.

Unification Ministry spokesman Jeong June-Hee told a regular press briefing that the fifth nuclear test can be carried out "right now," noting that the government was preparing for all possibilities.

The DPRK staged its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and pushed ahead with the launch of a long-range rocket, which was condemned as a disguised test of missile technology, on Feb. 7.

Pyongyang warned of a pre-emptive, offensive nuclear strike in response to the joint U.S.-South Korea annual war games, while top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un had ordered tests of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles that can deliver the warheads.

The Key Resolve command post exercise, which kicked off on March 7, ended last week, but the Foal Eagle field training exercise will last until April 30.

The spokesman said that the DPRK can conduct another nuclear test at any time when its leadership makes a decision as the leadership declared a plan on nuclear test.

South Korea's military also expressed worry about nuclear detonations. Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-Kyun told a routine press briefing that the DPRK had maintained its readiness to conduct nuclear test at any time when the leadership decides on it.

Moon said the military is closely monitoring and preparing for relevant situations together with the intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States.



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