North Korea Draws International Ire With Largest Ever Nuclear Test
The UN Security Council is expected to hold a crisis meeting soon to address North Korea's nuclear ambition after it tested a nuclear technology on Friday in violation of UN resolutions.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The nuclear experiment is believed to be the fifth and largest since Pyongyang started pursuing nuclear and ballistic missile programs, drawing condemnation from the international community.
The presidents of the United States and Japan agreed, in an urgent phone call, that more steps, including additional sanctions, were needed to tackle the North's nuclear research.
Suspicious Seismic Activity
A jolt measuring 5.3 magnitude was detected by Russia's Hydrometeorological Centre at 12:30 GMT. According to the US Geological Survey, this was a ground-level seismic event that occurred near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
Elena Semenova, the head of the Russian seismological station in Sakhalin, said the quake appeared to be artificial and reminiscent of what they registered during the North's previous nuclear attempts in 2006, 2009, 2013, and most recently in January of this year.
A source with the Russian security agencies told RIA Novosti the new nuclear test carried the explosive power of 30 kilotonnes, twice as much as the energy emitted by the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.
North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA claimed the newest nuclear experiment was a success. It said the test, which was timed to the 68th anniversary since the republic's foundation, confirmed that "standardized" nuclear warheads can be mounted on "strategic ballistic rockets."
South Korea was quick to condemn the North for a new provocation, with President Park Geun-hye warning Pyongyang that its pursuit of nuclear weapons would lead to deeper isolation and accelerate the nation's eventual "self-destruction."
Park said the nuclear test would invite stronger sanctions. This was echoed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Barack Obama, who called for more steps to counter Pyongyang's nuclear ambition.
The United Nations has banned North Korea from developing nuclear and ballistic missile technologies and imposed fresh sanctions on it after the fourth nuclear test in January.
France urged the international community to stand up against Pyongyang's provocations, while North Korea's neighbor China said it "strongly opposes" nuclear tests by North Korea, which again demonstrated disregard for demands of the international community.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s chief Yukiya Amano slammed the test as "deeply troubling and regrettable act" but said his agency would be ready to contribute to the peaceful resolution of Korea's nuclear crisis by resuming verification activities in the North once a political deal is reached among countries concerned.
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