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Satellites show North Korea nuclear test unlikely: Think tank

Published on Apr 23, 2014 11:16 AM

SEOUL (REUTERS) - North Korea is unlikely to be ready to stage a nuclear test timed to coincide with US President Barack Obama's visit to Asia, a respected think tank said on Wednesday based on its assessment of satellite imagery.

Comments by South Korea's foreign ministry that the North could be moving towards what would be its fourth nuclear test prompted the US State Department to urge Pyongyang to "refrain from actions that threaten regional peace".

North Korea continually works on improving testing at its Punggye-ri site. Satellite imagery analysed by 38North, which is part of Johns Hopkins University, said that while there had been a pickup in activity, there were few signs of an imminent test.

"Recent operations at Punggye-ri have not reached the high level of intensity - in terms of vehicle, personnel and equipment movement - that occurred in the weeks prior to past detonations," it said.

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