South Korea on Friday warned that the North can be expected to detonate another nuclear test device in the wake of its firing of a long-range rocket on Wednesday, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
"There is a high probability for a nuclear test following the launch of the long-range missile and, from the analysis of intelligence, significant progress has been made to carry out a nuclear test," Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik said to legislators.
A test would fit with Pyongyang's past practice of firing rockets shortly in advance of its 2006 and 2009 nuclear trials.
"North Korea has a track record of conducting nuclear tests after launching long-range missiles and the aim of the launch was to develop a delivery system that could carry nuclear warheads," Yu said.
The South's lead intelligence organization this week said North Korea could conduct a nuclear test "even today or tomorrow if it wants to," Kyodo News reported.
The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday condemned the launch of the Unha 3 rocket, which Pyongyang said carried a weather satellite into space, as a violation of resolutions that ban any North Korean ballistic missile activity. Undeterred, North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un has directed his nation to send more satellites into orbit, Agence France-Presse reported.