Seoul keeps a close eye on North Korea's nuclear and missile activities

Seoul: South Korea's Unification Ministry said Monday that it is closely monitoring North Korea's nuclear and missile activities in response to Pyongyang's last-week hint at lifting its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.

On January 19, North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Politburo met under the chairmanship of leader Kim Jong-un and decided to consider resuming "all temporarily suspended" activities, citing Washington's "hostile policy" toward the country, according to reports.

North appears to be maintaining its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which was said to have been decommissioned in 2018, Ministry spokesperson Lee Jong-joo declined to confirm "detailed intelligence on North Korea's nuclear facilities," but said the government is monitoring related moves.

"The government is closely monitoring North Korea's nuclear and missile activities with close coordination from South Korea and the United States," Lee told reporters here.

It is also monitoring the possibility of a high-profile event in North Korea to commemorate two significant national holidays – the 80th birthday of Kim Jong-late un's father, Kim Jong-il, on February 16 and the 110th birthday of his late grandfather, Kim Il-sung, on April 15 – amid indications the country is preparing a military parade.

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