South Korea defense ministry says North's nuke test site boosts activity

South Korea defense ministry says North's nuke test site boosts activity

PanARMENIAN.Net - Activity has increased at North Korea's nuclear test site, South Korea says, ahead of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to the region, according to BBC News.

The military was "currently detecting a lot of activity in and around the Punggye-ri nuclear test site", a South Korean defense ministry spokesman said. North Korea could be planning to hold a "surprise nuclear test or just pretend to stage a nuclear test", he said.

North Korea has carried out three nuclear tests in the past. Its most recent test was in February 2013 - an incident that triggered several months of severe tension on the Korean peninsula. It also carried out tests in 2006 and 2009. All of the tests - which were signposted well in advance - resulted in the imposition of UN sanctions on Pyongyang.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday, April 21 set up a special task force to monitor the situation, the spokesman said.

Multinational talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions have been stalled for years. Late last month, North Korea threatened to carry out a "new form" of nuclear test. It is not clear what that means.

While Pyongyang has tested devices, it is not yet believed to have mastered the process of making a nuclear warhead small enough to deliver via a missile.

Obama is due to arrive in South Korea on Friday, after a three-day visit to Japan.

 Top stories
"As two neighbors, Iran and Russia have common viewpoints toward political, regional and global issues," Dehghan said.
At least 2,500 and possibly up to 5,000 suspects have traveled from Europe to conflicts in Syria and Iraq, Wainwright said.
Yet even as Aliyev cultivates the West, he is convinced that foreign-financed organizations, including RFE/RL, are out to get him.
Francis urged people to have greater empathy towards family and friends with problems, saying the world "needs tenderness" and warmth.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.