Yonhap News Agency reports that the government of Kim Jong-un has completed preparations for its second nuclear test in a matter of days according to South Korean government sources who believe that Pyongyang plans to employ a previously unused tunnel at its mountainous testing site.
The news of an imminent test follows in the wake of Pyongyang’s massive nuclear test blast on Friday, the most powerful atomic detonation by the regime to date.
The rumors of an upcoming second test blast also follows indications by the North Korean government and independent defense analysts that Kim Jong-un’s government has mastered the miniaturization process necessary to mount a nuclear warhead to a ballistic missile raising the stakes.
"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," according to an anonymous South Korean government official.
The North Korean regime vowed to continue its doomsday march towards nuclear dominance despite a fresh round of UN imposed sanctions in the wake of Friday’s test blast with a spokesperson for Kim Jong-un calling the economic measures "laughable."
South Korea estimates that the force of Friday’s nuclear detonation was 10 kilotonnes, which would be the most powerful blast to date, but a US expert believes that the seismic magnitude of the explosion suggests a yield closer to 20 or 30 kilotonnes surpassing the destructive force of the Hiroshima bomb that killed nearly 150,000 people instantly.
The UN Security Council quickly denounced North Korea’s explosion with the United States, Britain and France pushing the 15-member body to impose a fresh round of sanctions, but many believe that the only thing that will get Kim Jong-un to back down is if the Chinese government of Xi Jinping applies greater economic pressure on the North Koreans.