Home > News > Regional
Wednesday May 14, 2014 MYT 10:39:00 AM
Wednesday May 14, 2014 MYT 10:44:40 AM
An undated picture released by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 14 May 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) tours North Korean Air Force unit 447at an undisclosed location in North Korea. - EPA
SEOUL, May 14, 2014 (AFP) - Despite fears to the contrary, North Korea does not appear to be preparing an imminent nuclear test, a US think-tank said Wednesday in an analysis of recent satellite images of Pyongyang's main test site.
While the latest pictures dated May 9 do show high levels of activity at the Punggye-ri site, most of it seems to be of a mundane, routine nature that would not be consistent with an impending test, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said.
In an analysis posted on its closely-followed website 38North, the institute offered several scenarios, including the possibility that Pyongyang had been pushing towards a test but was warned off by its main ally and economic benefactor, China.
Based on available evidence... it appears that a nuclear test is not imminent," the analysis said.
"Indeed, given previous North Korean practices, one possible conclusion is that if the North is planning a test, it may still be weeks away," it added.
The international community has been on edge for a month after South Korea cited intelligence reports that the North was planning to conduct its fourth nuclear test - possibly to coincide with US President Barack Obama's visit to Seoul in April.
Subsequent satellite analysis by several think-tanks confirmed stepped-up activity at the Punggye-ri site, but most stopped short of predicting a detonation timeline.
Tags / Keywords:
north korea, nuclear tests, pyongyang
N. Korea repatriates rare S. Korea defector
Japan nuclear watchdog backs restart of two reactors
South Korea to hike cigarette price by 80%
North Korea ratchets up 'hostage diplomacy' with US
China win first gold of the 2014 Asiad
Japan volcano death toll hits 48 as new bodies found
Fears over fresh eruption halt Japan volcano search
Art seized from Marcos’ home
Hong Kong leader demands protests end 'immediately'
Cops want ban on bottled beer
Apologise for ruining children’s day at carnival, blogger told
Greek government seeks confidence vote to dampen snap polls talk
North Korea beat Japan to win women's football gold
Liam Neeson’s character to save family again in ‘Taken 3’
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)