Washington: The United States and its allies will take appropriate steps to hold North Korea accountable should the recalcitrant country conduct a nuclear test.
John Kirby, the NSC coordinator for strategic communications, also noted the North may continue to be ready to conduct a test, a National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson said.
“We have been very clear that North Korea could be ready to conduct a nuclear test. That is something we said very, very openly,” Kirby said in a press briefing, held virtually.
“These tests have in the past and if they test in the future will in the future just add to the insecurity and instability on the Korean Peninsula,” he added. “Again, we would react appropriately along with allies and partners.”
Seoul and Washington have both said the North appears to have completed all preparations for what will be its seventh nuclear test, with US officials earlier anticipating Pyongyang to conduct a test as early as May, Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korea’s Unification Minister Kwon Young-se hinted at the possibility of North Korea conducting a nuclear test this week to mark the end of the 1950-53 Korean War 69 years ago, which it calls “Victory Day.”
Kirby said the US will continue to closely monitor the reclusive state for any signs of a nuclear test. “We are obviously going to watch this very, very closely for any possibility of a nuclear test,” Kirby said. (IANS)