Analyst Notes N. Korea's Leveling of Tunnel Entrance at Punggye-ri Nuke Site
North Korea appears to be continuing preparations to conduct a nuclear test, including leveling the entrance way to bring in heavy equipment into Tunnel No. 3 at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
Katsuhisa Furukawa, a former member of the UN Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee, gave the assessment in a report published Friday through the Open Nuclear Network, an NGO based in Austria, reports Voice of America.
Citing satellite imagery taken earlier this week, Furukawa said signs of ground work and road construction are detected near a new tunnel entrance.
He said signs of a water stream being restored in the area are believed to be aimed at preventing summer floods.
Furukawa also pointed out that considering sediment piles dug out from the tunnel are no longer growing, this could mean excavation work has slowed or is suspended.
North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM) last month, ending its self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile testing. In recent days, movements of restoring Tunnel No. 3 at the nuclear site have been continuously detected, raising speculation the regime could carry out nuclear testing before long.
[Photo : YONHAP News]