SEOUL, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea appears to have completed its preparation for a nuclear test, but there is "no new activity of significance" observed at the country's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site, a U.S. monitor said Tuesday.
Recent satellite imagery, obtained a day before U.S. mid-term elections on Nov. 8, shows there is no significant activity detected at or around Tunnel No. 3 of the Punggye-ri site, according to Beyond Parallel, a project of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.
"Consistent with the lack of new external developments in this area, preparations for conducting a test are assessed to have been completed for several months," it said.
Amid North Korea's latest barrage of missile launches, speculation had been rampant that Pyongyang may conduct a nuclear test before or around the U.S. mid-term elections.
Some experts raised the possibility that the Kim Jong-un regime may carry out a nuke test around Nov. 29 to mark the fifth anniversary of its declaration of the completion of nuclear armament.
Speaking at a National Assembly session Monday, South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young-se cited their view as he reaffirmed the government's assessment that the secretive and unpredictable North can carry out a nuclear test at any time.