China will reportedly operate five stations monitoring atmospheric radiation levels by the end of this year.
Japan's Mainichi Shimbun daily issued the report on Thursday, quoting Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization(CTBTO).
The report said that some experts consider the move as China's efforts to increase pressure on North Korea, as radioactive gases are evidence of nuclear tests and can be used to identify the type of nuclear weapon.
The daily said that the CTBTO has asked China to operate these monitoring facilities over ten years to prepare for North Korea's nuclear test.
The paper quoted Zerbo as saying that China started operating a radiation monitoring station in its western city Lanzhou in December last year and plans to operate four more similar facilities this year.
Source: KBS World Radio