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Satellite pics of North Korean nuclear plant suggest ‘explosive testing’ on way

Satellite images of a nuclear plant appear to show North Korea gearing up for explosive testing, experts have warned.

The country seems to have started repairs on the Punggye-ri site which closed in 2018, according to the photos taken by satellite imaging company Maxar.

It has been reported that the site was shut down, with some parts blown up, after Kim-Jong-un agreed to stop all nuclear tests.

But US analysts discovered what looked like work being carried out following predictions that North Korea could re-commence nuclear weapon and long-range missiles testing, reports the BBC.

The images revealed "very early signs of activity" that have taken place over the last couple of days, which includes the construction of a new property and lumber and sawdust at the site, according to analysts from the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Analysts believe that the labour suggests that the country "has made some decision about the status of the test site."

The move could be associated with a previous statement issued by the country in January to "examine the issue of restarting all temporarily-suspended activities," they said.

However, the experts labelled the work at the site "preliminary" and highlighted that it could take "months, if not years, from being ready for North Korea to conduct nuclear explosions".

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They went on to say it would depend on the severe damage inflicted to Punggye-ri's tunnels when it was shut down.

Another possibility could be for North Korea to re-start nuclear testing at another site, the experts stated.

The site, which is situated in the north-east of the country, was reportedly dismantled as part of a diplomatic approach with South Korea and America.

Punggye-ri is thought to be North Korea's leading nuclear facility, and as late as 2018 was the only active nuclear testing site in the world.

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