North Korea’s fifth nuclear test seen imminent: report

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A media report said on Sunday that North Korea to conduct its fifth nuclear test in the near future before the May party congress.

North Korea's fifth nuclear test seen imminent: report

According to a western news agency, North Korea is preparing a nuclear test while Pyongyang is gearing up for a Workers Party congress in early May.

The South Korean officials and international experts said that North Korea will conduct the fifth nuclear test within weeks because of a failed missile launch on Friday, which embarrassed the leader Kim.

“Compared to last month, the frequency of vehicle, workforce and equipment movements increased two-to-threefold recently,” Yonhap News Agency said, quoting multiple government sources.

Tensions have escalated since the start of 2016 after the North’s nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch on February 7. North Korea said that the rocket launch was aimed at placing an earth observation satellite into orbit but Washington and Seoul argued the move was a cover for an intercontinental ballistic missile test.

The US occasionally deploys nuclear-powered warships and aircraft capable of carrying atomic weapons in the region. In response, North Korea has vowed to develop a nuclear arsenal in an effort to protect itself from the US military.

However, the Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of military tensions since the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended in a truce. Since no peace deal has been signed; technically the two Koreas remain at war.

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