Pyongyang: Pyongyang launched several missiles last month in a series of failed tests, sparking fears the next test could be nuclear.
According to Liu Ming, executive director of the Institute of International Relations at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, North Korea’s preparations for a nuclear test are complete.
Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high for weeks, driven by concern that Pyongyang might conduct its sixth nuclear test or test-launch another ballistic missile in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
The North’s KCNA news agency last week accused the US CIA and South Korea’s National Intelligence Service of a plot to assassinate its “supreme leadership” with a biochemical weapon.
Professor Ming said: “In April, North Korea launched several missiles but they all failed. “There was no nuclear test in April but it does not mean that North Korea will not conduct one in May
“I believe there is a strong possibility that the country will hold the next nuclear test this month.” “According to my estimates, tensions on the Korean Peninsula will remain in May and June for Pyongyang is highly likely to conduct another nuclear test during this period.”
“North Korea is playing for time choosing the right moment, because all the preparations for the sixth nuclear test have been completed.
The expert told Russian state media TASS if Kim Jong-un carries out another nuclear test Pyongyang could be left completely isolated.
He said: “I think, after the sixth nuclear test, the window of possibilities to solve the North Korea issue will almost completely close.
“Only a few chances will remain to solve the issue using diplomatic methods, if Pyongyang conducts another nuclear test, then China will have to reduce its economic aid to North Korea.
It comes as North Korea said it was its sovereign right to “ruthlessly punish” American citizens it has detained for crimes against its government system, saying US media’s description of such arrests as a bargaining ploy was “pure ignorance.”
The North’s KCNA news agency said the crimes of recent Americans detained by its authorities will soon be revealed.