Volleyball games at North korea nuke test site

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 20, 2017

After eight weeks of nearly continuous activity at the Punggye-Ri site, where satellite images have shown trucks coming and going, and barrels lined up outside buildings, three volleyball games were apparently played, analysts said Wednesday.

"It also suggests that these volleyball games are being conducted with the North Koreans knowing that we will be looking and reporting on it".

The analysts say the games could indicate the test site has "transitioned to a standby status" and that personnel was "being allowed some downtime for recreation".

Punggye-ri is a complex of tunnels and testing infrastructure in the mountains in northeast North Korea.

The pictures were released by 38 North, a North Korea monitoring project at Johns Hopkins University, in Maryland.

It is not yet clear what is happening at the test site.

North Korea had been widely expected to test a nuclear weapon last weekend, marking a day officially known as the "Day of the Sun" - the April 15 anniversary of the 1912 birth of Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder.

The Punggye-ri site is located in a mountainous region in the north-east.

Analysts have spotted games of volleyball on satellite images of North Korea's nuclear test site, according to reports.

Pyongyang has claimed to have miniaturised nuclear warheads for use on missiles, though experts have cast doubt on that given the lack of evidence.

Tensions around North Korea's activities with both nuclear and missiles have escalated in recent months after Pyongyang conducted a number of nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches in violation of the UN Security Council's resolutions.

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