A politician from South Korea said on Thursday that North Korea is prepared to perform a nuclear test at any time, prompting the United States to issue a warning that the test may take place while President Joe Biden is in Seoul this week.
Following a briefing by Seoul’s National Intelligence Service, legislator Ha Tae-keung informed reporters that North Korea’s “preparations for a nuclear test have been finished and they are simply waiting.
The dictatorship of Kim Jong Un is now dealing with a spiralling epidemic of Covid-19, with almost two million reported instances of “fever.” Despite this, both Washington and Seoul have said that Pyongyang’s test preparations have not been hindered by this.
Analysts believe that once Kim Jong-un has set a new record for the number of missiles he has tested this year, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, he may decide to conduct a nuclear test in order to divert attention away from the deteriorating health situation in North Korea.
The administration of President Joe Biden said that US intelligence agencies believe there is a “real potential” that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could chose to perform a “provocation” when Biden lands in Seoul late on Friday night on his first journey as president to Asia.
According to the National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, this may indicate that North Korea may conduct “additional missile tests, long-range missile testing or a nuclear test, or perhaps both” around the same time that President Biden will be travelling. There are indications from satellite photography that North Korea is getting ready to carry out what would be its seventh nuclear test. Both Seoul and Washington have been sounding the alarm for the last several weeks, stating that it might happen at any moment.
According to Cheong Seong-chang, director of the Center for North Korea Studies at the Sejong Institute, who spoke with AFP, “North Korea will want to attract global attention by conducting a nuclear test during President Biden’s visit to South Korea and Japan.” This prediction was made in reference to the upcoming trip of President Joe Biden to South Korea and Japan.
The fact that the United States is putting pressure on North Korea’s one and only major ally, China, to assist in putting a stop to Pyongyang’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests indicates that Leader Kim is likely pondering what course of action to take.
Cheong said that it looks extremely possible that Kim would conduct out nuclear or ICBM tests during President Biden’s visit to South Korea or Japan since Kim is fully aware of the deadlock that has developed at the United Nations Security Council as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Friday, President Biden will arrive in South Korea for the first time for a meeting with the country’s newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office the previous week.
After an extraordinary display of diplomacy between then-US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un — which was brokered by Yoon’s predecessor Moon Jae-in — ultimately resulted in failure, talks between Washington and Pyongyang have been stalled for years. Yoon’s predecessor Moon Jae-in was the mediator of those talks.
Although Trump has stated that he and Kim are “in love,” experts believe that very little to no progress was achieved in dismantling the North’s nuclear programmes during the three summits that generated headlines and were conducted between the two of them. Kim said not so long ago that he was increasing the size of his nuclear weapons “at the quickest feasible pace.”
According to Park Won-gon, a professor at Ewha University, a portion of the responsibility for the current state of affairs must be placed at the door of President Joe Biden owing to his “strategic neglect” of North Korea since he assumed office.
According to Park, “We have reverted to a scenario where it is impossible to make any progress in terms of denuclearization and relations between the United States and North Korea.” He said that there is no practical method to halt North Korea at this point in time.