North Korea has completed preparations for a nuclear test, a South Korean lawmaker said Thursday based on an intelligence service report, on the eve of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Seoul.

“The preparations for a nuclear test have been completed and they are just looking for the right moment,” legislator Ha Tae-keung said after being informed by the National Intelligence Service. Despite the strong outbreak of covid-19 registered in the country, the United States and South Korea consider that the communist regime of Kim Jong Un continues with its atomic and military development program.

After starring in a record series of weapons tests this year, including an intercontinental ballistic missile, Kim may want to distract public opinion from the health crisis with a nuclear test, analysts say.

US intelligence services consider that there is a “real possibility” that Kim decides to organize “a provocation” during President Joe Biden’s first trip to Asia, which arrives in Seoul on Friday afternoon.

This could translate to “more missile tests, long-range missile tests or a nuclear test, or frankly both, in the days leading up to, during or after the president’s trip to the region,” said National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

Satellite images indicate that North Korea is preparing to carry out a nuclear test, which would be the seventh in its history. Washington and Seoul have been warning for weeks that it could happen any day.

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