US News North Korea Resumes Work at Nuclear Test Site, Analysts Say

23:46  13 september  2017
23:46  13 september  2017 Source:   The New York Times

UN experts accuse North Korea of illegally exporting £204m of goods

  UN experts accuse North Korea of illegally exporting £204m of goods A report says Kim Jong Un’s government continues to flout sanctions on commodities, as well as an arms embargo.In a report released on Saturday, UN experts said Kim Jong Un’s government continued to flout sanctions on commodities, as well as an arms embargo and restrictions on shipping and financial activities, during the perios which ended in early August.

Nuclear -armed North Korea has carried out a series of atomic tests and missile launches during US President Barack Obama's time in office PHOTO: AFP. Satellite images indicate activity has resumed at North Korea ’s nuclear test site , US-based analysts said Tuesday

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea appears to have resumed work at its nuclear test site after a perplexing series of volleyball matches were held there, according to analysts who studied satellite images of the site , renewing concerns that a major weapons test could be imminent.

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Trump Vows New Sanctions on North Korea Over Weapons Programs

  Trump Vows New Sanctions on North Korea Over Weapons Programs Trump Vows New Sanctions on North Korea Over Weapons Programs(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump promised new sanctions on North Korea ahead of a meeting Thursday with leaders of Japan and South Korea to discuss the growing crisis over Pyongyang’s weapons program.

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has resumed work at its underground nuclear testing site , defense analysts said , as the country vowed to keep expanding its nuclear arsenal despite the latest United Nations sanctions.

Satellite images indicate activity has resumed at North Korea 's nuclear test site , US-based analysts said Tuesday, as tensions remain high over fears of an sixth atomic test by the reclusive state.Images of the Punggye-ri site captured on April 25 appear to show workers

North Korea has resumed work at its underground nuclear testing site, defense analysts said, as the country vowed to keep expanding its nuclear arsenal despite the latest United Nations sanctions.

The defense analysts also said the North’s Sept. 3 nuclear test, which Pyongyang said was of a hydrogen bomb, may have been much more powerful than previously estimated.

In its first official reaction to the sanctions resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the sanctions would only strengthen the country’s resolve to pursue its nuclear weapons program “at a faster pace without the slightest diversion.”

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North Korea Says It Now Controls Fate of the U.S.

  North Korea Says It Now Controls Fate of the U.S. The leadership of both North and South Korea appear to agree that more U.S. nuclear weapons could lead to an arms race in the region.North Korea's state-run media ran a series of articles Friday threatening to meet any further U.S. military expansion in the region with an opposing show of force. After North Korea successfully tested its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in July and conducted its first hydrogen bomb test earlier this month, it launched a second intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan on Friday.

— Image courtesy of Airbus Defense & Space and 38 North /Handout via ReutersSEOUL, May 3 — Satellite images indicate activity has resumed at North Korea ’s nuclear test site , US-based analysts said yesterday, as tensions remain high over fears of an sixth atomic test by the reclusive state.

US-based defence analysts have said that North Korea has resumed work at its underground nuclear weapon testing site . After studying recent satellite images, the analysts said they had detected new vehicles, mining carts and other signs of activity at the

The sanctions resolution, adopted in response to the nuclear test this month, was the ninth passed by the Security Council since North Korea’s first such test in 2006. If enforced, it would deprive North Korea of 30 percent of its annual fuel imports. It also bans imports of textiles from North Korea, stripping the country of another key source of hard currency.

But the North, already heavily-sanctioned, remained defiant on Wednesday, saying it would “redouble the efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and right to existence” and establish “practical equilibrium with the U.S.”

The statement, released through the North’s state media, came at about the same time that a group of defense analysts, after studying recent satellite images, said they had detected new vehicles, mining carts and other signs of activity at the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site in northeast North Korea.

US calls for Monday vote at United Nations on new North Korea sanctions

  US calls for Monday vote at United Nations on new North Korea sanctions The proposed US sanctions would also freeze all foreign financial assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un. (AP) The US draft also identified nine ships that have carried out activities prohibited by previous UN resolutions and would authorise any UN member state to stop these vessels on the high seas without their consent and use “all necessary measures” – which in UN language includes force – to carry out an inspection and direct the vessel to a port.Diplomats said all 15 Security Council members discussed the draft on Friday, and both China and Russia appeared willing to negotiate.

Images show resumption at nuclear site . Meanwhile satellite images indicate activity has resumed at North Korea ’s nuclear test site , US-based analysts said Tuesday, as tensions remain high over fears of an sixth atomic test by the reclusive state.

Satellite images indicate activity has resumed at North Korea 's nuclear test site , US-based analysts said , as tensions remain high over fears of a sixth atomic test by the reclusive state.

”Such activity, coming shortly after the largest underground nuclear test conducted at Punggye-ri to date (via the North Portal), suggests that on-site work could now be changing focus to further prepare those other portals for future underground nuclear testing,” the defense analysts, Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu, said in a Tuesday report on 38 North, a website focused on North Korea. The analysts gave no indication that a test appeared to be imminent.

The analysts also said the explosive yield from the Sept. 3 nuclear test may have been as much as 250 kilotons, based on revised estimates of the magnitude of the tremor created by the blast. That would be much higher than most official estimates, which have varied. Japan, for example, gave an estimate of 160 kilotons, while South Korea’s was as low as 50 kilotons.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry released this photo of a Taurus “bunker buster” cruise missile that the military says it successfully tested. © South Korean Defense Ministry, via Getty Images South Korea’s Defense Ministry released this photo of a Taurus “bunker buster” cruise missile that the military says it successfully tested. The analysts said the data appeared to verify the North’s claim that it had detonated a hydrogen bomb, a much more powerful device than the atomic bombs it detonated in its early tests. The United States, South Korea and other governments have yet to confirm that the North tested such a weapon, but the Sept. 3 test, the North’s sixth, was by far its most powerful to date. Satellite imagery since the test has showed evidence of numerous landslides at the test site.

US calls for Monday vote at United Nations on new North Korea sanctions

  US calls for Monday vote at United Nations on new North Korea sanctions The proposed US sanctions would also freeze all foreign financial assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un. (AP) The US draft also identified nine ships that have carried out activities prohibited by previous UN resolutions and would authorise any UN member state to stop these vessels on the high seas without their consent and use “all necessary measures” – which in UN language includes force – to carry out an inspection and direct the vessel to a port.Diplomats said all 15 Security Council members discussed the draft on Friday, and both China and Russia appeared willing to negotiate.

Satellite images indicate activity has resumed at North Korea ’s nuclear test site , US-based analysts said on Tuesday, as tensions remain high over fears of a sixth atomic test by the reclusive state. Images of the Punggye-ri site captured on April 25 appear to show workers pumping out water at a

New commercial satellite imagery of North Korea ’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site from April 19 shows limited vehicle and equipment activity at the North Portal and Main Support Area as well as indications of resumed excavation operations at the West Portal.

On Wednesday, South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said it had detected traces of radioactive xenon gas from the nuclear test. But the data was not sufficient to determine what type of nuclear device the North had detonated, it said.

The latest United Nations sanctions against the North were considerably weaker than what the United States had sought. Among other things, the Trump administration wanted a complete cutoff of oil exports to the North.

“We think it’s just another very small step — not a big deal,” President Trump said of the new sanctions on Tuesday. “But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.”

In the past week, Mexico and Peru have decided to expel North Korean ambassadors to protest the country’s continued violation of United Nations sanctions. South Korea’s foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha, said Tuesday that a Middle Eastern country, which he did not identify, had also agreed to expel Pyongyang’s envoy.

North Korea’s ambassador to Peru, Kim Hak-chol, said Tuesday that his expulsion “throws gasoline on the fire,” according to Reuters.

On Wednesday, the South Korean military said it had successfully tested a new air-to-land “bunker buster” Taurus cruise missile, part of its effort to increase its ability to destroy key weapons sites and bunkers deep underground where the North’s leaders might take refuge.

South Korea has agreed to buy 260 Taurus missiles from Taurus Systems, a German and Swedish joint venture. The missiles are among billions of dollars’ worth of new weapons that South Korea is buying to strengthen its pre-emptive and retaliatory strike capabilities as a deterrent against North Korea.

They have a maximum range of 310 miles, meaning that South Korean planes can launch them without entering North Korean airspace. They can also fly a low, terrain-hugging route to better avoid radar, defense officials said.

North Korea flew an intermediate-range missile over northern Japan last month and has threatened to launch more missiles into the Pacific.

China's military practices for "surprise attack" over sea near Korea .
China's air force has carried out exercises near the Korean peninsula, practicing to defend against a "surprise attack" coming over the sea, Chinese state media said. The exercises came days after North Korea's sixth, and most powerful, nuclear test fueled global concern that the isolated nation plans more weapons tests, possibly of a long-range missile.An anti-aircraft defense battalion held the exercises early on Tuesday, near the Bohai Sea, the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea that separates China from the Korean peninsula, an official military website, www.81.cn, said.

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