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South Korea says North ready for new nuclear test

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South Korea says North ready for new nuclear test

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The United States is reportedly planning to fly one of its bombers over South Korea tomorrow in a show of force against the North following Friday’s fifth nuclear test.

The claim reported by Reuters comes from an American military official in South Korea.

Seoul has called on the UN Security Council to adopt a new resolution against Pyongyang tightening sanctions and closing loopholes. South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye met political leaders on Monday seeking unity in the face of the threat from the North.

Pyongyang has said it has mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile. The South believes the North is capable of carrying out more tests at any time.

“The assessment by South Korean and US intelligence is that the North is always ready for an additional nuclear test in the Punggye-ri area (the area where it has carried out its previous tests),” said defence ministry spokesman Moon Sang-Gyun.

Japan’s prime minister has told senior military officials that North Korea’s two nuclear tests carried out since the start of the year can’t be tolerated. Tokyo sees the developments as a grave threat to its national security.

“North Korea went ahead with two nuclear tests in just nine months. This is absolutely unacceptable. Ignoring the condemnation of the international community, North Korea has conducted missile launches repeatedly. Missiles landed within Japan’s exclusive economic zone last month and this month consecutively. It’s an unprecedented situation,” Shinzo Abe said.

North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho left for Venezuela on Monday, where is is expected to attend the Non-Aligned Movement Summit. He is then due to travel to New York for the UN General Assembly.

China has warned that sanctions alone cannot solve the North Korean nuclear issue and that unilateral action can only lead to a dead end.

The crux of the issue lies with the United States not China, and China has made many efforts to uphold peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, Beijing’s foreign ministry said on Monday.

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