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(LEAD) N. Korea appears ready for nuclear test: presidential official

Politics 17:05 May 13, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS remarks, details from para 4)

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea appears to be ready for its seventh nuclear test, an official at South Korea's presidential office said Friday.

Before a nuclear test, the North could test-launch ballistic missiles, the official said.

The government plans to draw up "very detailed action plans" about North Korea, and other regional and global issues ahead of an upcoming summit between President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden, the official said.

The official said a nuclear test would have a short-term impact on the South's economy, but many experts believe Russia's invasion of Ukraine and global economic fundamentals would likely be "bigger structural variables."

On Thursday, North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea, in its first major provocation since Yoon took office Tuesday.

The launch, the North's 16th show of force this year, came amid lingering concerns Pyongyang could carry out a nuclear test, as Yoon and Biden are scheduled to hold the summit in Seoul on May 21.




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