A U.S. intelligence official said that North Korea has not conducted a seventh nuclear test because leader Kim Jong-un does not see a need yet.
Sydney Seiler, a top intelligence official on North Korea at the National Intelligence Council(NIC) under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, issued the assessment during a webinar hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank based in Washington.
As reasons for the North not proceeding with a seventh nuclear test, Seiler said that the North has no internal urgency to meet a certain artificial deadline.
The official said that he reached the conclusion by analyzing the development need, the demonstration need, the diplomatic need and the domestic need.
Seiler added that if the goal is to portray a constantly improving, inevitable, and exponentially growing nuclear threat, a test is not so critical.
South Korean and the U.S. intelligence authorities have assessed that North Korea completed preparations for its seventh nuclear test last year and only Kim's order is required.