SEOUL, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said she is concerned North Korea could conduct a fifth and even a sixth nuclear test, less than two weeks after Pyongyang’s announcement of a “successful” hydrogen bomb test placed U.S. and Seoul’s forces on highest alert.
“If strong and effective measures do not turn up, the international community could be sending the wrong signal to North Korea,” Park said Tuesday, according to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.
Park said her government takes a resolute stance against North Korea’s tests and Pyongyang will soon realize the consequences of actions that violate United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The president’s remarks come the same day U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with top South Korean officials before he traveled to China to discuss North Korea.
It was unclear whether Blinken discussed the potential deployment of THAAD by U.S. forces in the country. A Seoul Defense Ministry spokesman had said last week a review of THAAD deployment would take into account North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, as well as Seoul’s security and national interests.
Analysts in the United States, South Korea and Japan, however, have remained skeptical of the North’s claims of an H-bomb test.
Congress stated Tuesday the bomb test was more likely an enhanced nuclear weapon or another non-thermonuclear bomb, Yonhap reported.
The Congressional Research Service stated in a report issued Friday that opinions were divided on whether North Korea has the capacity to miniaturize nuclear weapons that could then be mounted on a ballistic missile.