February 06, 2023

Why A Third Nuclear Test Might Not Be As Imminent As You Think

A close look at North Korean media output suggests a nuclear test might not be as imminent as you would think.

As reports continue to suggest prospects of a North Korean nuclear test are imminent, headlines and predictions in international media are becoming increasingly bold as Pyongyang holds back on detonating a device. But on what basis does the international community think that a nuclear test is imminent?

The bolder the predictions of North Korea's third nuclear test become, the greater the pressure to come up with a solution for South Korean and American diplomats, policy-makers, and military planners.  But while predictions of the ‘imminent’ nature of North Korea’s nuclear test exponentially grow by the day, a comparison of Pyongyang’s recent statements with those made in the advent of the 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests reveal some interesting discrepancies that suggest the situation may be more nuanced than it seems.