WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korea may well conduct a nuclear test during U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris' upcoming trip to Japan and South Korea as Pyongyang has been preparing for such a test, a senior U.S. administration official said Friday.
The official warned the North will face serious consequences should it choose to conduct a new test.
"It is possible and we previously said that the DPRK is preparing to conduct a nuclear test," the official said when asked about the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test during Harris' trip to the Northeast Asian countries next week.
DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.
The vice president is scheduled to make a four-day visit to Japan from Monday, leading a presidential delegation to the funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
She will arrive in South Korea on Thursday for a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, the official said in a telephonic press briefing.