The possibility that North Korea may conduct a nuclear test is certainly real, according to the Japanese government.
Earlier this week, North Korea launched a ballistic missile that had passed over Japan and ended up landing in the Pacific Ocean.
In a press conference on October 4, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said he believes Kim Jong Un and North Korea could potentially conduct a nuclear test.
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He said: "I think there is a possibility that North Korea will carry out additional provocations, including conducting a nuclear test, but will not comment on specific information and analysis. I will refrain."
Minister Matsuno added: "We will continue to work closely with the U.S. and focus our efforts on the collection and analysis of necessary information, as well as vigilance and surveillance, while closely cooperating with the U.S., South Korea, the U.S. and Japan for the complete denuclearisation of North Korea."
When asked whether Japan should speed up their capabilities of producing a counterattack following the North Korean missile launch over the nation – the first of its kind since 2017 – Matsuno answered "yes".
Japanese Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu paid attention to the development of North Korean missile technology and was not shy in praising the improvements they've made in recent years.
Defense Minister Hamada said, "The remarkable improvement in (North Korea) missile technology cannot be overlooked."
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Yomiuri Shimbun, an official from the Ministry of Defense said that North Korea's most recent missile launch "has a strong purpose to improve technology beyond the political meaning of a check on South Korea, the United States, and Japan."
Yomiuri added: “What [the Japanese government] is especially wary of is [North Korea] establishing missile technology capable of carrying small tactical nuclear weapons."
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