SEOUL, May 8 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's top military officer on Thursday warned of an imminent nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), saying that preparations for its fourth nuclear detonation were in the final stages.
Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin held a meeting with editors of local news media in Seoul, saying that "North Korea (DPRK) has prepared for the fourth nuclear test and now it is in the final stages."
Kim said the DPRK can carry out another nuclear blast at any time when its leadership makes a decision, but the minister noted that Pyongyang may intentionally delay the test or conduct a deceptive tactic as the North is very good at a psychological warfare.
His comments came amid growing fears that the DPRK could be planning to carry out its fourth nuclear test after conducting three such tests, most recently in February last year.
The DPRK warned that it will stage a "new form of nuclear test " to bolster up its nuclear deterrence, and then the South Korean military said that it detected increased activity in the DPRK's main nuclear test site ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Seoul.
Obama held a summit with his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye in late April, agreeing to impose more sanctions on the North if Pyongyang conducts another nuclear test.
According to local media reports, the DPRK has recently conducted engine tests for an intercontinental ballistic missile known as KN-08, which was flaunted by the North during the past military parades.
Pyongyang staged its third nuclear test in February 2013, two months after launching the Unha-3 satellite rocket, which Seoul claimed was a disguised ballistic missile test.