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North Korea leader Kim Jong un
North Korea may launch a fresh nuclear test in an effort to force the US into diplomatic talks, which Pyongyang hopes would lead to signing a final peace agreement between the two sides and establishing diplomatic relations.
The East Asian country informed its key ally China of its intentions in mid-February, claiming it may also conduct another rocket launch.
"It's all ready. A fourth and fifth nuclear test and a rocket launch could be conducted soon, possibly this year," said a source with direct knowledge of the message from Pyongyang to China.
North Korea staged its third nuclear test on February 12, proclaiming it a threat and a provocation to the US. Pyongyang technically remains at war with the US and South Korea after the Korean War ended in 1953 with a truce.