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N. Korea apparently all set for nuke, ballistic missile tests: S. Korean military

Defense 14:19 May 24, 2022

SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) -- North Korea appears to have completed its preparations for a new nuclear and ballistic missile test, South Korea's military said Tuesday, stressing its "firm" readiness posture against the reclusive regime's possible provocations.

"We believe that North Korea's preparations for a nuclear test and a missile launch have been completed," Col. Kim Jun-rak, spokesperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a regular press briefing. "With regard to this, our military is maintaining a firm readiness posture."

During a forum on Monday, Victor Cha, a senior vice president and Korea chair at the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, raised the possibility that the North could launch a provocation on the last weekend of May around the U.S. Memorial Day that falls on May 30.

Many initially paid attention to the odds of the unpredictable North launching a long-range missile or carrying out what would be its seventh nuclear experiment around President Joe Biden's trip to Northeast Asia that ends later Tuesday.

Given the North's claims of progress in its fight against COVID-19 and the end of the mourning period for Hyon Chol-hae, a late top military official, Pyongyang could resume its provocation cycle, some observers here said.

This file photo, taken April 17, 2022, shows a news report on a North Korean missile launch being aired on a TV screen at Seoul Station in Seoul. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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