The US intelligence community and the Defense Department are anticipating that North Korea will begin a new round of missile and nuclear tests. US officials are watching the regime's programs, there are growing indicators of concerning activity inside North Korea. US spy satellites are observing the activities of North Korea.
There is intelligence indicating the communist regime is moving equipment to certain areas, believing the US cannot track them. CNN reports that General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a statement after speaking to his South Korean counterpart, General Sun Jin Lee. Dunford stated both recognized North Korea could conduct provocative actions during US-South Korean military exercises or during upcoming celebrations in the communist country.
North Korea has moved some launch equipment that is associated with an intercontinental ballistic missile launch. The equipment has been observed near parade grounds, but the concern is it could quickly become part of an actual launch. The US does not believe a North Korean ICBM could currently reach the US, but any launch of a missile with that potential range would be very provocative.
US satellites have watched North Korea
At the same time, there is movement of equipment in other areas associated with the potential of mobile launchers firing solid-fueled medium-range missiles. The North Korean regime recently fired one of those missiles, renewing concerns that US satellites have a limited ability to track fast-moving mobile launchers. US spy satellites have watched a test site for several weeks and seen signs of digging and activity at tunnel entrances.
A website recently posted satellite imagery showing activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. The images indicate the area is ready for an underground test. This comes as the Trump administration is reviewing if there are new options for dealing with North Korea. US military commanders have stated any pre-emptive strikes by the US would result in a North Korean attack against Seoul, leading to disastrous consequences.