Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned Thursday that North Korea might be capable of firing a missile loaded with sarin nerve gas toward Japan.
Abe, who made the statement at a parliamentary panel on national security, said Pyongyang may already be able to shoot missiles with sarin as warheads, the Associated Press reported.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes sarin as a human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. Generally odorless and tasteless, it can cause death in minutes.
U.S. researchers said satellite imagery posted online Thursday shows “continued activity” at North Korea’s nuclear test site in the northeast of the country. The images were posted to the 38 North website, a program of the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.
North Korea will celebrate the birthday of Kim Il Sung, the nation’s founder who ruled the North for 46 years on Saturday. The occasion comes amid speculation that Pyongyang may conduct its sixth nuclear test or fire a missile around the time of key anniversaries in April.
The U.S. has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group toward the Korean Peninsula, prompting North Korea to warn it will defend itself against “reckless acts of aggression.”
President Trump said Wednesday he told Chinese leader Xi Jinping that he could get better trade terms from the U.S. if China helps rein in the nuclear threats from Pyongyang.
“Had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan last week ahead of the first meeting between Trump and Xi.