South Korea's spy agency, National Intelligence Service (NIS), has detected "active movement" in North Korea's missile research facility indicating that the reclusive regime could undertake a provocative act in the near future.
Tensions remain high on the divided Korean peninsula with Pyongyang's defiant acts and bellicose rhetoric. North Korea had conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear detonation in September 2017 in addition to several missile tests as the country repeatedly exacerbates the situation in the region.
Amid such an uptight atmosphere, Seoul's NIS has said there is a possibility of the North carrying out either a nuclear test or missile launch to make the situation worse.
"The North will carry out additional nuclear tests and continue to push for the development of miniaturized, diversified nuclear warheads," South Korean lawmakers, who were briefed about the NIS's observation, said during an audit to the parliament.
They added that "active movement" of vehicles have also been spotted near the country's missile research facility in the North Korean capital suggesting that Pyongyang may fall back on its aggressive military acts.
The NIS report added that one of the tunnels at the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility – the mountainous site where the North has conducted six tests since 2006 – is fully ready to carry out yet another underground detonation "at any time". The analysis comes just as when there are serious concerns about the stability of the site and reports about an alleged collapse.
Additionally, the South Korean intelligence agency also observed the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been strengthening his ironclad grip over various state bodies. "Chairman Kim has recently strengthened the monitoring of his senior officials and resumed the purge and executions that he had refrained from for some time," added the NIS.