North Korea is about to fully detonate the nuclear bomb

North Korea

Kim Jong Un has already ordered missile tests this year but could soon escalate to a full nuclear blast (Image: Reuters/Getty)

North Korea is feared to be on the verge of conducting its first full nuclear test since 2017.

South Korea’s foreign minister believes the rogue state has completed preparations for a nuclear blast in a remote area of ​​the country.

It would be the seventh such event conducted by Pyongyang but the first since Kim Jong Un ordered the program to be halted to allow talks with the US.

The failed negotiations launched by then-President Donald Trump have remained in limbo since Joe Biden moved into the White House and prompted North Korea to ramp up its weapons program.

The return to aggressive testing has continued even as the Covid-19 wave has gripped the impoverished country, infecting millions.

His military has made several ballistic weapon launches over the past few months, but stopped short of a thermonuclear detonation.

Intelligence agencies in Seoul and Washington DC fear that is about to change and are on the lookout for signs Kim ordered a nuclear blast.

After talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said the North would pay a price if it went ahead.

He told reporters: “North Korea has completed preparations for another nuclear test and I think only a political decision needs to be made.


Weapons tests – like the one above broadcast on state television in 2019 – continue despite the Covid-19 wave sweeping the country (Image: AFP)

“If North Korea dares another nuclear test, I believe it will only strengthen our deterrence and international sanctions as well. North Korea should change its mind and make the right decision.’

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken suggested repositioning military assets alongside the South Korean and Japanese armies in response.

He said: “We are preparing for all eventualities in very close coordination with others and stand ready to make both short-term and longer-term adjustments to our military posture.”

Both men said the door for negotiations remains open, but allies have accused Pyongyang of withdrawing from the talks.


Pyongyang says Hwasong-17 ICBM capable of hitting US (Image: AP)

On Sunday, North Korea apparently fired artillery shells into the sea as part of a test.

Its long-range artillery pieces are only 25 to 30 miles from densely populated areas in South Korea near the northern border.

There were signs of activity at the Punggye-ri site, the site of previous nuclear tests that closed in 2018.

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Justin Scacco

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