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Analysts: North Korea prepping for nuclear test

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WASHINGTON: Satellite images suggest North Korea could be in the final stages of preparations for a new nuclear test according to analysts, who echoed similar conclusions by the US military.

The images, taken on Saturday, show up to four vehicles or trailers continuously present at the entrance to the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, with communications cables likely laid on the ground.

"This equipment would likely be used to initiate the test, collect data from the explosion and process it," said 38 North, a project of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Last week, the US military reached similar conclusions after observing activity at North Korea's nuclear sites.

Pyongyang is on a quest to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the US mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five nuclear tests, two of them last year. - AFP

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