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U.S. sends nuclear sniffer plane to Korea

U.S. sends nuclear sniffer plane to Korea

Members said they are concerned Pyongyang is diverting resources toward building missiles and bombs while the population has "great unmet needs".

The images were taken on Sunday by a commercial satellite amid speculation that Pyongyang was preparing for its sixth nuclear test at a time of growing tensions with the US.

The analysts gave two possible reasons for the unexpected activity at the Punggye-ri test site: either preparations had been put on "stand-by", or this was part of a "deception plan" by the government.

"When we demanded to restore this "agreed wording", which is of great political importance, and expressed our readiness to continue working with the authors of the draft, the United States delegation scaled down the work on the document without explanation of reasons and said that Russia had blocked a statement for the press", according to a statement of the Russian Federation's permanent mission which was obtained by TASS.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday said that he believes it is important for all countries involved in past talks on denuclearising the Korean Peninsula - South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the United States - to help prevent the North's potential nuclear capability from becoming a threat to the global community. And though there are minor signs of tunneling, "the pumping of water out of the tunnel to maintain an optimal environment for instrumentation and stemming seems to have ceased", the report states.

On that day, North Korea will celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of its Korean People's Army and American media outlets, including ABC News, have also speculated about the likelihood of a nuclear or a missile test on that date.

The Punggye-ri site is located in a mountainous region in the north-east. According to South Korean defense ministry officials, the plane was deployed from a USA base in Okinawa to verify rumors that North Korea was going to conduct its sixth nuclear test the same day, though the rumors didn't hold up in the end.

But questions remains over how advanced the country's nuclear programme is.

Meanwhile, the country has conducted a series of ballistic missile launches in recent months in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

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