Satellite imagery shows increased activity at North Korea's Mount Mantap nuclear testing area, leading experts to predict that Pyongyang is preparing to conduct its sixth nuclear weapons test. The likely date for the test is Saturday or Sunday, during celebrations to mark the 105th birthday of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un. Based on the amount of debris and water excavated from the testing tunnel, burrowed deep under the mile-high mountain, this could be Pyongyang's biggest nuclear test yet.
U.S. scientists at Los Alamos have calculated that Mount Mantap could withstand a nuclear blast of up to 282 kilotons, The New York Times says, or about 20 times the strength of the Hiroshima explosion. North Korea's previous tests have been within the Hiroshima range. Kim has said his goal is to make a thermonuclear warhead small enough to fit on a missile that could reach the United States. President Trump recently sent a U.S. Navy strike group, with an aircraft carrier and other warships, toward the Korean Peninsula as a warning to Pyongyang, and on Wednesday he said he thinks China is ready to help the U.S. curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions.