June 07, 2022 11:12
Suspicions are growing that North Korea is speeding up preparations for another nuclear test.
A recent sign is that the North is restoring the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, which it ostensibly blew up in 2018, according to Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"At the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri we have observed indications that one of the [entrances] has been reopened, possibly in preparation for a nuclear test," Grossi said Monday.
The U.S. is likely to respond with a regional show of force. It has already deployed about 40 stealth fighter jets, including the world's most powerful F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and F-35 A and B fighters, at its base in Japan. Many of these fighters are expected to join South Korean fighter jets in drills over the Korean Peninsula if the North conducts a nuclear test.
The U.S. also deployed four B-1B "Swan of Death" Lancer bombers at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam last week.
On Sunday North Korea launched a volley of eight short-range ballistic missiles, and South Korea and the U.S., in response, fired as many ballistic missiles the next day.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com