US intelligence said North Korea could possibly conduct a nuclear test or launch a long-range missile test while President Joe Biden is visiting Japan or South Korea. The White House is bracing for such an event as Biden prepares for his trip on Friday with contingencies already lined up for any occurrences.

According to The Guardian, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said there is a “genuine possibility” of missile tests even in the days leading to the president’s trip to the region. He added that the White House is closely coordinating measures with South Korea and Japan, with South Korea citing that its spy agency believes nuclear test preparations have already been concluded by its Northern counterpart. In their briefings, the spy agency says Kim Jong-Un could be waiting on an optimum time to proceed with the test launches.

'We are preparing for all contingencies, including the possibility that such a provocation would occur while we are in Korea or in Japan," Sullivan said during a press briefing Wednesday.

Ha Tae-Keung of the People Power party told reporters that all preparations for the missile launch have been completed despite the country battling through a coronavirus pandemic. Other officials have also noted that there have been earlier indications of a possible nuclear missile test launch after Kim Jong-Un recently addressed its push for material and technological preparations should it face provocations and future threats from the West. Satellite imagery analysis point to activities at the Pyongyang launch site where the movement of launcher equipment, fueling, and personnel have been observed.

South Korean deputy security adviser Kim Tae-hyo said the possibility of a nuclear missile test is imminent but still seems low.

"In the event of a North Korean provocation during the SK-US summit period, depending on the nature of the provocation, a plan B has been prepared so that the two leaders can immediately begin the command and control system of the combined defense posture, even if the existing schedule is changed," Kim said.

Meanwhile, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that Biden will not visit the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea, although it would seem this is still being reconsidered on his agenda. The president visited the DMZ in 2013 when he was still vice president. Former President Donald Trump crossed into North Korea through the DMZ in 2019 to meet with Kim Jong-Un.

North Korean missile launch People watch a TV at the Seoul Railway Station showing a file image of a North Korean missile launch on March 24, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) toward the East Sea on Thursday, South Korea's military said, a move sharply escalating tensions in the region. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images