The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) is set to conduct another new nuclear test in the Punggye-ri area, the South Korean Defence Ministry has reported.
South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun was quoted by media sources as saying: "Assessment by South Korean and US intelligence is that the North is always ready for an additional nuclear test in the Punggye-ri area.
"North Korea has a tunnel where it can conduct an additional nuclear test."
The report comes just three days after North Korea conducted a widely condemned underground nuclear test, which is said to be its most powerful to date.
Strongly condemning the test, the United Nations (UN) Security Council issued a press statement confirming that the test is a clear violation and 'in flagrant disregard' of ‘Security Council resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) and 2270 (2016), as well as of the non-proliferation regime’.
The statement said the test was: “Therefore a clear threat to international peace and security continues to exist.
“In line with this commitment and the gravity of this violation, the members of the Security Council will begin to work immediately on appropriate measures under Article 41 in a Security Council resolution.”
North Korea has carried out two nuclear tests and several missile tests this year even after repeated calls from the international community on the country to halt such activity.
In a statement, US President Barack Obama said: “To be clear, the United States does not and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state.
“I restated to Republic of Korea (ROK) President Park Geun-Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the unshakable US commitment to take necessary steps to defend our allies in the region, including through our deployment of a terminal high-altitude area defense (THAAD) battery to the ROK, and the commitment to provide extended deterrence, guaranteed by the full spectrum of US defence capabilities.