23:33 GMT +322 April 2018
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    People walk past a street monitor showing a news report about North Korea's nuclear test, in Tokyo, Japan, September 3, 2017

    Japanese FM Says North Korea Preparing for Another Nuclear Test

    © REUTERS / Toru Hanai
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Saturday that the current activities at the site of North Korea's previous nuclear test pointed to Pyongyang’s preparations for a new one.

    "Earth is being currently extracted from a tunnel where the previous nuclear test was carried out. North Korea is thoroughly preparing for the next nuclear test," Kono said, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

    The statement comes amid the ongoing thaw in relations between the two Koreas, which started before the Winter Olympics, held in South Korea’s Pyeongchang last month, with North Korean athletes participating in the Games and the sides exchanging high-level delegations.

    In early March, a high-ranking South Korean delegation visited North Korea for talks with the country's leader Kim Jong-un. Upon the delegation's return, the South Korean presidential office announced that Seoul and Pyongyang had reached a historic agreement on holding the third ever summit of the countries’ leaders.

    READ MORE: DPRK Media Reportedly Ignores Kim's Calls for Nuke-Free N Korea

    South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North Korean leader have agreed to hold a summit on April 27, ahead of an expected meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim in late May.

    Moon also voiced an idea to hold a trilateral summit to discuss the issues of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula following last year’s nuclear test and ballistic missile launches carried out by North Korea.

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    Tags:
    nuclear test, Taro Kono, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Japan
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