IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi (photo) commented as of Thursday (local time) that North Korea is repairing the road peripheral to Tunnel 4 at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea and added that the recent activities show signs of consecutive nuclear tests.
During the video interview with The Dong-A-Ilbo, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi mentioned that it will take about two months for North Korea to re-open Tunnel 4, and the recent North Korean activities clearly represent the level of preparations for any type of nuclear tests. In succession to the recovery of Tunnel 3 in Punggye-ri which is a completion of the preparation for the 7th round of nuclear test, the circumstantial signs of consecutive nuclear tests in Tunnel 4 have been identified. It is the first time that IAEA openly disclosed the possibility of successive nuclear tests in North Korea.
Tunnel 4 is assumed to serve the purpose of hydrogen bomb test. He also said that there are concerns of North Korea diversifying its nuclear weapons including tactical nuclear weapons and that there are signs of new activities and signs which support such concerns. Both the United States and South Korea consider that North Korea is deemed capable of conducting nuclear tests for tactical nuclear weapons targeting South Korea. Director General Rafael Grossi also added that North Korea is expanding its nuclear facility in Yongbyon of which the exterior of the extended facility is already complete.