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S.Korean defense chief says no sign of DPRK's nuke test

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 13:23, July 05, 2017

South Korea's defense chief said Wednesday that there has been no specific sign of another nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Defense Minister Han Min-koo told lawmakers that though the DPRK can conduct another nuclear test at any time, no specific sign was detected for such test.

Speculation emerged that the DPRK may carry out its sixth nuclear detonation in the near future following its claim on Tuesday that it successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), called Hwasong-14.

In the past, the DPRK tended to test-launch a long-range ballistic rocket in parallel with a nuclear detonation with a certain time gap.

Pyongyang carried out its fourth and fifth atomic bomb tests in January and September last year, escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The DPRK's capability of miniaturizing a nuclear warhead, the defense chief said, was estimated to have reached a significant level.

In response to the DPRK's test-launch of an ICBM, the missile units of South Korea and the United States conducted joint ballistic missile exercises along the east coast of South Korea.

The defense minister said it was the first time that the two allies carried out joint missile drills in response to the DPRK's provocation.

Touching on the Tuesday test, the minister said that whether the DPRK obtained a reentry technology of ICBM has not been confirmed though the missile was estimated to have a range of 7,000-8,000 km.

The DPRK missile flew about 930 km and was lofted as high as around 2,800 km. The Pentagon confirmed it was a new ICBM of the DPRK.



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