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US State Department: North Korea may conduct nuclear tests this month

North Korea may be preparing to conduct a nuclear test this month, a US State Department spokesman said.

senior deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter said Friday that the US has also shared the information with allies and partners, Yonhap News Agency reports.

“The United States understands that the DPRK is preparing its Punggyeri test site and may be ready to conduct a test there this month, which would be its seventh test,” he told a telephone press conference.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of the North. Previous reports said the North appears to be repairing underground tunnels at Punggyeri that were said to have been demolished in 2018 as a sign of its readiness for denuclearization.

Punggyeri has been the site of all six nuclear tests conducted by North Korea. The last test was conducted in September 2017.

Porter said the assessment was “consistent” with what Pyongyang said in recent public statements. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said the country will continue to improve its nuclear capabilities and will also use them to pre-emptively mitigate aggression against the country if necessary.

“We have shared this information with allies and partners and will continue to coordinate closely with them,” Porter said.

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