The move would herald the end of Pyongyang’s self-imposed weapons test moratorium and heighten tensions in the region.
The US is closely monitoring North Korea for a threatened “Christmas gift” missile launch or nuclear test.
The move would end Pyongyang’s self-imposed weapons test moratorium and heighten tensions in the region.
It would also deal a major blow to one of Donald Trump’s key foreign policy goals, which aimed to draw North Korea into talks on scrapping its nuclear arsenal.
Earlier this month, the authoritarian regime conducted what the US said was an engine test.
Officials fear it could signal the possible launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the coming days or weeks.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had given the US until the end of the year to propose fresh concessions in talks over his nation’s nuclear weapons.
Pyongyang said in early December that it was up to Washington to decide what “Christmas gift” it will receive.