World / Asia-Pacific

No immediate sign of nuke test in DPRK: ROK defense chief

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-11-20 19:40

SEOUL - Republic of Korea (ROK) defense chief said Thursday that no immediate sign is detected yet over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s new nuclear test.

Defense Minister Han Min-koo told lawmakers that the possibility for the DPRK's nuclear test in the near future has not been confirmed yet, though it has always been prepared to conduct the test.

His comments came after the DPRK's foreign ministry indicated a new detonation of its atomic bombs to counter "US hostile policy " toward the country. The DPRK said in a statement that it is compelled by US hostility "not to exercise restraint any longer in conducting a new nuclear test" and that its "war deterrence will grow stronger."

The threat of nuclear test came in response to the passing of the UN resolution on the DPRK's human rights that recommended the Security Council refer the DPRK to the International Criminal Court.

Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a press briefing that intelligence agencies of ROK and the United States continue to closely monitor the DPRK's nuclear facility and its operation.

Kim said the DPRK's nuclear test or the test-firing of ballistic missiles is an act of threatening peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as in the world, noting that ROK will not tolerate any DPRK provocations or threats.

The spokesman added that there was no specific activity detected in the DPRK's Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site, where the third nuclear test was conducted last year. The first and second tests were staged in 2006 and 2009 each.


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