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N Korea ‘probably’ will carry out new nuclear test: US

March 09, 2023

WASHINGTON: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “probably” will test a nuclear device again in his drive to build a nuclear arsenal that he sees as “the ultimate guarantor” of his rule, a US intelligence report said on Wednesday.

Kim also is likely to continue firing nuclear-capable missiles in an effort “to normalize Pyongyang´s missile testing,” the 2023 Annual Threat Assessment report said.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, with each blast increasing in intensity. Its last nuclear test was in 2017.

“North Korea probably is preparing to test a nuclear device to further its stated military modernization goals,” said the report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“Kim almost certainly views nuclear weapons and ICBMs as the ultimate guarantor of his autocratic rule and has no intention of abandoning those programs, believing that over time he will gain international acceptance as a nuclear power,” the report said.