A projectile is launched from a South Korean Army 130mm Multiple Rocket Launcher during a live fire exercise in the eastern coastal county of Goseong, which borders North Korea, on April 4, 2016.(AFP)
North Korea is ready for another nuclear test in a previously unused tunnel at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, say Seoul government sources.
Indications have been gathered that the North has completed preparations to conduct a nuclear test at any time in the third tunnel that has not been used previously," South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted one of the sources as saying on Monday.
"Intelligence authorities in Seoul and Washington are keeping close tabs," added the source.
Earlier, a South Korean military source was reported by Yonhap as saying that Seoul is ready to turn Pyongyang to “ashes” and remove it "from the map" if it shows signs of preparations for a nuclear attack.
"Every Pyongyang district, particularly where the North Korean leadership is possibly hidden, will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosive shells as soon as the North shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon", said the source.
On Friday, North Korea conducted yet another “nuclear warhead explosion,” its fifth, saying it was meant to counter US hostility.
A fire drill of ballistic rockets by Hwasong artillery units of the KPA Strategic Force is pictured in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 6, 2016. (Reuters)
In January, North Korea said it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, its fourth nuclear test, and vowed to build up its nuclear program as deterrence against potential aggression from the US and its regional allies.
North Korea says it will not give up on its nuclear military program unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and dissolves the US-led command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.
The UN has adopted five rounds of crippling sanctions on the North since it first tested an atomic device in 2006 despite the nation's critical situation, including its worsening famine.