North Korea is expected to weigh additional provocations while watching the United Nations Security Council's adoption of possible fresh sanctions following its sixth nuclear test, Seoul's unification minister said Tuesday.
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told lawmakers that the North could opt for provocative acts to pressure the United States into changing what it calls a hostile policy toward Pyongyang.
"North Korea is likely to focus on handling its ties with the US while taking a wait-and-see mode with inter-Korean relations," Cho said.
This file photo taken on Aug. 21, 2017, shows Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon speaking to lawmakers. (Yonahp)
His remark came as North Korea on Sunday conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test yet. It claimed the detonation of a hydrogen bomb that can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The US urged the UNSC on Monday to adopt the "strongest possible" sanctions against North Korea.
"North Korea seemed intended to make the international community effectively view the North as a nuclear state and raise its external clout by showing off its nuclear strike and delivery capability," Cho said.
Seoul's Unification Ministry said that North Korea will use the latest nuclear blast as an occasion to boost internal solidarity to mark the anniversary of the government's establishment slated for Saturday and the founding of the ruling Worker's Party of Korea on Oct. 10.
The minister said that South Korea will consistently push for a peace proposal toward North Korea unveiled by President Moon Jae-in in Berlin in July.
"Given grave security situations sparked by North Korea's provocations, the government will take a prudent approach in implementing specific measures by taking into account North Korea's attitude, international coordination and public sentiments," he added. (Yonhap)