A senior US official has warned that North Korea might carry out its seventh nuclear test “at any moment.”
Sung Kim, the US special envoy for North Korea, issued the warning only days after Pyongyang tested an unprecedented eight ballistic missiles.
According to US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, any such nuclear test would be greeted with a “rapid and robust retaliation.”
For the last five years, Pyongyang has not conducted a nuclear test.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula, however, have been growing. Mr. Kim started from Jakarta that North Korea had launched an unprecedented number of missiles this year, with 31 compared to 25 in the previous record-breaking year of 2019.
During a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, he said, “And it’s just June.”
He went on to explain that North Korean authorities’ statements indicated a readiness to employ tactical or small-scale nuclear weapons.
When reporters asked when the next phase of testing would take place, Mr. Kim cautioned that it might happen “any moment,” even this week, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, in Seoul, where she is meeting with South Korean and Japanese officials, Ms Sherman warned reporters that any such test “would be in total defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.”
“I am certain that not just the Republic of Korea, the United States, and Japan, but the whole world will reply forcefully and clearly,” she added.
North Korea has yet to reply to the United States’ claims.