New satellite images reveal ongoing activity at DPRK's atomic test site, according to a US research institute, as expectation mounts of an imminent nuclear detonation.
The images, as recent as January 23, suggest the facility will be ready to conduct a test 'in a few weeks or less' once the order is given, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University posted on its 38 North website on Sunday.
'Snowfall and subsequent clearing operations as well as tracks in the snow reveal ongoing activity at buildings and on roadways near the possible test tunnel,' it said.
The institute's analysis follows a series of daily threats from DPRK that it is preparing its third nuclear test in response to UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for a long-range rocket launch in December.
In a meeting with top security officials, DPRK’s leader Kim Jong Un ordered 'substantial and high-profile important state measures,' fuelling speculation of an imminent detonation.
Last week's UN resolution imposing sanctions threatened further 'significant action' if Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test.
DPRK's two previous detonations in 2006 and 2009 followed a similar pattern of a missile launch, followed by UN measures, followed by a nuclear test.