Commercial satellite images from North Korea‘s Punggye-ri nuclear test site indicate that activity in part of the plant throughout December is consistent with plans for more nuclear testing.
Analysis released by the US-Korea Institute says that while the North Portal of the site – where the last five nuclear tests were conducted – remains dormant, the same cannot be said of the West Portal, where tunnel excavations have been stepped up.
‘Throughout December 2017, mining carts and personnel were consistently present around the West Portal and there was significant expansion of the spoil pile,’ the Institute commented.
Is Kim planning another nuke test? Satellite images showed more activity at North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site
The images purportedly show increased soil deposits at the site
North Korea conducts its nuclear tests in intense secrecy
South and North Korean officials met earlier this week in an effort to diffuse tensions on the Korean peninsula
Kim Jong-un (centre) has pursued an aggressive programme of nuclear and missile development over the last year
It says that on December 28 up to 200 personnel were observed in seven different formations in the Southern Support Area of the plant.
‘These activities underscore North Korea’s continued efforts to maintain the Punggye-ri site’s potential for future nuclear testing.’ the Institute said.