South Korea -FACEMAGAZINE WORLD NEWS
SEOUL – South Korea braced for a possible further missile test by North Korea when it marks its founding anniversary on Saturday, just days after its sixth and largest nuclear test, which it marks each year with a big display of pageantry and military hardware.
Throughout the week, South Korean officials have warned the North could launch another intercontinental ballistic missile, in defiance of U.N. sanctions and amid an escalating standoff with the United States.
Last year, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test on the Sept. 9 anniversary.
Tension on the Korean peninsula has escalated as North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, has stepped up the development of weapons, testing a string of missiles this year, including one flying over Japan, and conducting its sixth nuclear test on Sunday.
Experts believe the isolated regime is close to its goal of developing a powerful nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States, something Trump has vowed to prevent.
South Korean nuclear experts, checking for contamination, said on Friday they had found minute traces of radioactive xenon gas but that it was too early to link it to Sunday’s explosion.
The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) said it had been conducting tests on land, air and water samples since shortly after the North Korean nuclear test on Sunday.
Xenon is a naturally occurring, colorless gas that is used in manufacturing of some sorts of lights. But the NSSC said it had detected xenon-133, a radioactive isotope that does not occur naturally and which has in the past been linked to North Korea’s nuclear tests.
There was no chance the xenon “will have an impact on South Korea’s territory or population”, the agency said.