North Korea Could Test Nukes or Missiles Ahead of US Midterms, Think Tank Claims

© REUTERS / KCNAA missile is seen as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visits a drill of long-range artillery sub-units of the Korean People's Army, in North Korea in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 2, 2020
A missile is seen as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visits a drill of long-range artillery sub-units of the Korean People's Army, in North Korea in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 2, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
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North Korea's Kim Jong-un previously said that his country must be ready for "both dialogue and confrontation" with the United States, as Washington indicated that the door to denuclearisation talks is still open.
North Korea could conduct an intercontinental ballistic missile test or a nuclear test ahead of the November 2022 midterms in the United States, a Seoul-based think tank, the Asan Institute for Policy Studies said, as cited by Yonhap.

"North Korea is likely to focus more on provocations rather than dialogue", the institute reportedly said, alleging that the "provocation" could occur between May and November.

According to the think tank, Pyongyang could opt to launch faster, longer-range missiles or a new submarine in order to hype up military tensions on the Korean Peninsula. In the event the Biden administration does not react to the provocations, North Korea could allegedly conduct a nuclear test or test-fire intermediate-range or long-range missiles.
The allegations come as Kim Jong-un kicks off a party plenary meeting to discuss the country's strategy for 2022, with North Korea's priorities for possible denuclearisation talks with the US also expected to be unveiled at the end of the plenum.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un leads the first workshop of the commanders and political officers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang, North Korea in this image supplied by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on July 30, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
North Korea's Kim Jong-un Kicks Off Policy Meeting to Outline Priorities, Nuclear Strategy
The United States earlier said it is ready to engage in dialogue with North Korea without preconditions. Kim, for his part, outlined in June that his country must be ready for "both dialogue and confrontation" with Washington.
The nuclear talks between the US and North Korea were launched by former President Donald Trump, but the effort ended in 2019 without a deal. In response to the American initiative to revive these talks, Pyongyang has demanded that Washington ditch its "hostile policy" towards North Korea first.
Over the course of 2021, Pyongyang has occasionally tested new weapons systems that were said to include long-range cruise missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads to all of South Korea and most of Japan, along with a new submarine-launched ballistic missile.
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