SEOUL, July 31 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is likely to conduct an additional ballistic missile launch and its sixth nuclear test following its latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), South Korea's defense ministry said Monday.
"There is a possibility that North Korea is likely to test its nuclear warhead and missile capabilities through a nuclear test with more explosive power," the Ministry of National Defense said in a report to the National Assembly.
The ministry added that the North is ready to carry out another nuclear test at any time at its nuclear explosion site in the northeastern province.
The assessment came as the North claimed the successful launch of another ICBM late Friday following its similar test in early July. Pyongyang insisted that the whole U.S. mainland is within its striking range.
Defense Minister Song Young-moo told lawmakers that it is hard to judge that the North has completed technology to make a nuclear warhead small enough to be mounted on a ballistic missile even if it was a missile with intercontinental range.
"It is too early to say that the latest test was to assess its atmospheric re-entry capability," he said.
The North claimed that Friday's test confirmed that the missile has the capacity to guide a warhead into accurately hitting a target with mastered re-entry technology.
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