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Posted by admin on Apr 21, 2017

MashableNorth Korea's military has been spotted seemingly playing a game of volleyball at the main Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Satellite images of the site appear to show two six-player teams facing each other, with a net between them. Joseph Bermudez, an analyst for non-profit 38 North, which first noticed the pictures, said multiple games were going on at the facility — at the administrative area, the support area, the command centre, and at the guard barracks. A possible volleyball net seen in the command center areaImage: DigitalGlobe/Getty Images A probable volleyball game seen at the guard barracks at Punggye-riImage: DigitalGlobe/Getty ImagesThe people appear to be standing in formations consistent with volleyball games, he added. But if you thought the North Koreans were taking a break, it's more likely that the games were staged knowing the outside world is looking. PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - APRIL 16, 2017. Figure 4. Probable volleyball game seen at the command center support area. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)Image: DigitalGlobe/Getty ImagesAnalysts told the New York Times that the games were probably intended to send a message, as North Korea knows that the Punggye-ri test site is under intense scrutiny. The games could be North Korea's way of indicating that it's pausing its controversial nuclear missile testing activity — or that it's making it seem like it has. Both China and the U.S. have raised condemnation of the hermit country's nuclear tests in recent weeks, as Trump places pressure on the North to halt its missile activity. "While strongly suggestive of the completion of preparations for a sixth nuclear test, the imagery alone does not provide any definitive evidence of the installation of a nuclear device or indication of the specific timing for such an event," Bermudez told Mashable. Volleyball games are a normal occurrence at Punggye-ri, according to Melissa Hanham, an analyst at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. The game is a popular sport in North Korea.  "It doesn't mean anything other than people are there and [that] they are bored," Hanham said in an email to Mashable.  Both Hanham and Bermudez agreed that the site could still be ready for a nuclear test.  38 North described the site as "primed and ready" on April 12, and a UN representative of the reclusive dictatorship confirmed that a new nuclear test was under preparation.  Analysts speculated that the reclusive dictatorship could trigger a nuclear test to mark the 105th birth anniversary of the country's founding leader, Kim Il-Sung, which occurred last Saturday. Kim Il-Sung's grandson, Kim Jong-un, is North Korea's current leader. "The ultimate choice as to whether to test, or not to test, rests solely in the hands of Kim Jong-un," Bermudez said. WATCH: Scientists discovered a rare giant black worm monster in the Philippines


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