New satellite images show suspicious activity at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, allegedly shut down by the regime last May.
In an exclusive article published by U.S.-based monitoring website 38 North on Wednesday it stated imagery showed the presence of vehicle tracks in the snow cover along the roads that lead to the site's former Main Administrative Support Area.
The article acknowledged that the precise nature of the tracks is still unclear but said personnel foot tracking was also spotted in that area which suggests at the very least that staff still remain onsite at the complex.
The North had conducted six nuclear weapons tests at the Punggye-ri site between 2006 and 2017.
Amid increased activity detected recently in North Korea's key weapons locations including the Dongchang-ri missile launching site, the U.S. has continued to send reconnaissance planes over the Korean peninsula in an apparent mission to strengthen its monitoring on North Korea.
According to a privately-run military aircraft tracker Aircraft Spots, the U.S. deployed the E-8C jet which serves as an early warning and control aircraft dubbed the Joint Stars over the peninsulaon Thursday morning.
The Joint Stars has the ability to detect, track and hand-off targeting information on enemy forces moving on ground, making this platform one of the U.S. military's most important technological capabilities.
It's the same type of jet the U.S. deployed over the peninsula on Tuesday and when North Korea launched two projectiles from a super-large multiple rocket launcher on November 28th the 13th round of major weapons tests the regime has conducted so far this year.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.