South Korea’s spy agency said on Monday it is possible North Korea can develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland this year and that it is monitoring developments closely. No sign of an imminent nuclear test had been detected, though the North’s Punggye-ri complex appears ready for another detonation ‘at any time’, the agency told lawmakers. North Korea, pursuing nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of world condemnation, is also enforcing stronger controls

on outside information in the face of international sanctions, the lawmakers said after a closed-door briefing. It has led to further speculation Kim Jong-un may conduct additional missile tests this year to polish up its long-range missile technology and ramp up the threat against the United States.  South Korea’s spy agency said today it was monitoring developments closely. North Korea is pursuing nuclear weapons and missile programmes in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions and has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland.  READ MORE