South Korea's unification minister did not rule out the possibility of North Korea carrying out a nuclear test on the occasion of what it calls "Victory Day" this week, speaking publicly Tuesday.
"I think there is such a possibility," Kwon Young-se said, when asked about the issue during a radio interview here.
The North is marking the 69th anniversary on Wednesday of the 1953 armistice, which effectively ended the Korean War. Pyongyang calls the national holiday the Day of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War, or Victory Day.
The minister, who serves as Seoul's top point man on Pyongyang, noted the North is set to hold a national conference of war veterans within the coming days.
Keen attention is being paid to whether the country's leader Kim Jong-un will attend the Pyongyang event and deliver a new message on the regime's external policies. Kim has been out of public view for over two weeks.
The North carried out its sixth and last nuclear test in September 2017. It has completed all preparations for another underground nuclear test in the Punggye-ri site, according to the intelligence communities of South Korea and the United States. (Yonhap)