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More nuclear tests could be “paved” by North Korea: UN Report.

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More nuclear tests could be "paved" by North Korea: UN Report.

During the first half of this year, North Korea prepared for a nuclear test, according to a portion of a confidential United Nations assessment reviewed by Reuters on Thursday. The United States has long warned that North Korea is prepared to conduct a seventh nuclear test and has pledged to fight for stronger U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang if this happens.

The U.N. monitors added that investigations have revealed Pyongyang was accountable for at least one significant hack in which hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of crypto assets were stolen. The monitors have previously charged North Korea of using cyberattacks to finance its development of nuclear and missile technology.

“Work at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site paves the way for additional nuclear tests for the development of nuclear weapons,” independent sanctions monitors reported to the UN Security Council North Korea sanctions committee.

“The DPRK continued to develop its capability for the production of fissile material at the Yongbyon site,” the monitors wrote, referring to North Korea’s formal name – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Yongbyon is North Korea’s major nuclear facility, operating its first nuclear reactors.

They claimed North Korea fired 31 ballistic and guided missiles, including two missiles that were specifically designated as ballistic weapons and six intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests. In order to avoid sanctions, North Korea continued to purchase and export coal and oil illegally, according to the monitors.

Since 2019, international negotiations to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes have essentially stagnated. On humanitarian grounds and in the goal of persuading Pyongyang to resume talks, China and Russia have pushed for a relaxation of sanctions against North Korea in recent years.

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