North Korea ready for its sixth underground nuclear test?

New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 25 : North Korea is ready for its sixth underground nuclear test at any time, two US officials told CNN on Friday.

Recent satellite imagery indicates a potentially significant change at the Punggye-ri test site, as reported by CNN.

For weeks, satellites had observed extensive activity on the surface. But the most recent imagery shows that activity has now stopped. That is a similar change in the pattern of activity just before previous tests, indicating all final preparations are now complete, officials said.

The South Korean government issued a statement Friday saying a test can happen as soon as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un orders it.

"It is assessed that North Korea is ready to carry out a nuclear test anytime if its leadership decides to do so," Lee Duk-haeng, spokesman for South Korea's the Ministry of Unification, said in a press briefing.

North Korea has a history of moving military personnel and gear around to deceive satellites the regime knows are watching.

The United States is maintaining the presence of a WC-135 aircraft in the region that can conduct air sampling after a suspected underground test.

In past instances of Pyongyang's nuclear testing, one of the first signs that an underground explosion has happened is seismic activity picked up by the US Geological Survey in the location of the North Korean test site.

This comes as the Trump administration is reviewing whether there are newer options of dealing with North Korea, a situation that the Trump and Obama administrations agreed is extremely difficult to manage.

Source: ANI