North Korea has shown a pattern of provoking the US in the month before or after a presidential election, a think tank revealed on 11 October.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), based in the US, conducted research that revealed a correlation between US elections and provocation by North Korea. The CSIS suggested that this pattern could mean that the communist country is likely to do something within the next two months, with satellite images already showing increased activity at the country's nuclear site and missile test sites.

A spokesperson for CSIS: "This pattern suggests a provocation as early as one month before the US presidential election in the first week of October... or during the transition period for the next administration [which starts in December]."

The think tank noted that there have been three instances when North Korea had met a US election with a provocation on the same day, with the most recent case being during the 1996 presidential election. While the window for provocations was wider under previous North Korean leaders, Kim Jong Un has proved to work up to four weeks before or after an election.

Tensions have been increasingly worsening between North Korea and the US since Pyongyang carried out its fifth and largest nuclear test in September. Experts now fear that the US election could be the perfect time for the Far-East country to stage another nuclear test or a launch a long-range rocket.

Last month, Kim Jong Un's government lashed out at the US for its criticism over its nuclear test. It warned at the time that if the Obama administration continued to pursue sanctions or other actions to "stifle" the authority, the US would be inviting a "merciless nuclear strike which will lead them to a final ruin".

"The people of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) are now burning with hatred for the sworn enemies," a spokesperson for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee in Pyongyang said. "The DPRK is fully ready to mercilessly strike brutal provocateurs keen on sanctions... and wipe them out to the last man any moment."