The US-based monitoring group 38 North on Thursday morning said that the satellite images from the North’s Punggye-ri site showed it was “primed and ready” for the country’s sixth nuclear test since 2006.
“Commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site from April 12 shows continued activity around the North Portal, new activity in the main administrative area, and a few personnel around the site’s Command Center,” 38 North said on its website.
“In the courtyards of the main administrative area are approximately 11 probable tarp-covered pallets of equipment or supplies, a formation of personnel, and several individuals walking about,” the site added.
But South Korean military officials believe their neighbors are nor preparing any nuclear test just yet.
“There has been no unusual activity so far,” Roh Jae-chun, a spokesman for the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters, according to Yonhap news agency.
North Korea on Saturday will mark the 105th birth anniversary of its founder, Kim Il-sung, and many international observers believe they will use the day to carry out a nuclear missile test.
On Thursday, Australia’s defence industry minister, Christopher Pyne, said North Korea was creating a nuclear missile capable of reaching Australia and the United States “within two years”.
The United States Navy strike force- the USS Carl Vinson is currently monitoring the Korean peninsula and will conduct drills with Japanese self-defence force vessels.
“We are sending an armada. Very powerful,” Trump said on Wednesday.
“We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.”