US officials are claiming that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is about to engage in a fifth nuclear test as reported by CNN on Friday. Officials claim that a significant activity around the Punggye-Ri test site, as detected by satellite imagery, has been going on for weeks now. They claim that vehicles, personnel and equipment have been moved around, as well as two new tunnels having been constructed. The same officials claim that this behaviour matches activity before other tests in the past.
A statement by the South Korean government claims that another test is going to be carried out soon as well. Lee Duk-haeng, spokesman for South Korea’s the Ministry of Unification said, “It is assessed that North Korea is ready to carry out a nuclear test anytime if its leadership decides to do so. South Korean and US intelligence authorities evaluate that North Korea is ready to carry out a nuclear test anytime on the leadership’s decision.”
It seems likely that a test will occur soon given the recent developments in the DPRK’s missiles technology. Four missiles were recently fired into the Sea of Japan testing their capabilities. Such a test clearly demonstrated to Japan that the DPRK is capable of striking them if the US should invade their country. This test shows the increasing capabilities of the DPRK deterrent against invasion. Should the US invade the DPRK it is certain that nuclear weaponry would be used against South Korea, Japan, and possibly the United States itself.
Tensions in the region are bound to increase as the Trump administration has recently declared that “no option was off the table”, including a preemptive strike. Such a statement can only be interpreted as a threat. A statement like this by the US is irresponsible given the potential for nuclear war.
The US has always sought to destroy the legitimate government of the DPRK in order to carry out imperialist expansion. In the eyes of the American empire, it has a supposed right to force its will on others while they claim to be the bastion of freedom in the world. The US simply cannot tolerate another country being able to stand up to their interests and threats. Successive US governments, far before the election of Trump, have carried out hostiles and economic sabotage against the country. Yet the imperialists would have us believe that the DPRK is the villain.