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While the Russian invasion of Ukraine seems to be at a relative standstill and the US is hard at work severing ties with Russia, North Korea appears set to detonate its first nuclear bomb in over four years.
According to South Korean media, the nation is reportedly preparing to set off a nuclear detonation for the first time in four years. This test could happen as early as next month when the country will be celebrating the 110th birthday of Kim Il Sung, the founder and former dictator of the country, who is the grandfather of the current dictator Kim Jong Un.
This is happening as the West is at odds with Russia, making it more difficult to pass UN sanctions or even resolutions of condemnation against North Korea.
“North Korea almost certainly views the rifts between the U.S. and Russia, and the U.S. and China, as a golden opportunity to conduct longer-range missile — and probably even nuclear — tests,” said Rachel Minyoung Lee, a fellow in the 38 North Program at the Stimson Center.
“If North Korea conducts its next nuclear test in the third tunnel, then it is testing its nuclear-warhead-miniaturization technology for tactical nuclear weapons,” said Lee Choon-geun, a senior research fellow at South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute.