|North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervises the launch of a ballistic missile at an
unknown location in North Korea early on July 31 (Photo by: Handout /KCTV/AFP)
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] North Korea appears to be ready to resume its nuclear and weapons testing in the near future, a former U.S. intelligence official said Wednesday, stressing the need for "stronger" incentives or punishment for the communist state.
"Another big element we need to think about is that more weapons testing is probably just a matter of time," said Markus Garlauskas, a former intelligence officer for North Korea at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. During a virtual seminar, titled "A New Direction for U.S. Policy on North Korea," he said that North Korean Kim Jong-un has personally stated that the North is no longer bound by its earlier pledges not to test nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
North Korea has maintained its moratorium on nuclear and ICBM testing since late 2017, when it staged its sixth and last nuclear test. Still, many are beginning to suspect the communist state may soon resume its weapons testing amid a deadlock in denuclearization talks with the United States.Garlauskas insisted the U.S. should first focus on halting North Korea's weapons testing.
Experts have talked about the possibility of the North unveiling a new strategic weapon near the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers Party on Oct. 10.