North Korea nuclear test would show program moving 'full steam' - IAEA chief

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi arrives for meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Ukraine, at the U.N. headquarters in New York

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Thursday said a seventh North Korea nuclear test would be further "confirmation of a program which is moving full steam ahead in a way that is incredibly concerning."

"Everybody is holding its breath about this," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi said. "Further tests, of course, means that they are refining the preparations and the construction of their arsenal."

He told reporters in New York that the IAEA is following very closely and that "we hope it doesn't happen, but indications unfortunately go direct in another direction."

The United States and its allies believe North Korea could be about to resume nuclear bomb testing for the first time since 2017.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Dan Whitcomb)