On Friday North Korea carried out its fifth nuclear test, most powerful test so far. It can be compared to the nuclear bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima. Actually it is more powerful than that.
According to the North Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station, the country conducted this test to confirm a nuclear warhead capacity. It said that the test continued to strengthen the capacity “to bolster our nuclear force” when the world leaders were in China to attend G-20 summit.
North Korea said it is able to mount a nuclear warhead on a medium length ballistic missile. It was last tested on Monday.
Yonhap news agency quoted a South Korean Defence Ministry official’s statement that the military was scrutinizing the details of the nuclear material which was used for the test.
Around 9.30 a.m. at North Korea’s main Punggye-ri nuclear test site a 5 magnitude tremor was detected. According to the South Korean Defence Ministry official, the quake felt at about 10 kilotons and it’s believed to be most powerful nuclear detonation in Pyongyang so far.
The US Geological Survey said the tremble was 5.3 magnitude earthquake.
Yonhap reported that North Korea carried out this nuclear test to mark the country’s 68th National Day which is on 9th September.
Condemnation over the nuclear test
The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said, the Prime Minister of South Korea Hwang Kyo-ahn called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) following the test.
President Park Geun-hye criticized the test and said it would only invite self destruction, stronger international sanctions and deeper isolation.
According to Yonhap, the President also conversed with US President Barack Obama over phone about this nuclear test. Obama who is on his way home from Laos said it would meet with “serious consequences”.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the test, saying it was “unacceptable”. “It is simply unacceptable. We must strongly protest against it”.
State television reported that China’s environment ministry commenced emergency radiation monitoring along its border with North Korea in northeast China.
Jeffrey Lewis of the California-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies said the highest estimation of the seismic magnitude indicated a blast with 20-30 kiloton yield. The yield would make the test bigger than the nuclear bomb which the US dropped on Hiroshima in WWII. Possibly it would larger than the bomb which was dropped on Nagasaki.
Lewis said, “The important thing is that five tests in, they now have a lot of nuclear test experience. They aren’t a backwards state anymore.”
North Korea carried out its first detonation in 2006, October; the second in 2009, May; the third in 2013, February and the fourth in this year in January.