North Korea announced that it had conducted the country’s fifth successful nuclear test. The blast was so strong, that it caused a magnitude 5.3 earthquake near Punnggye-ri, an area used for this kind of tests. The US Geological Survey registered the artificial earthquake and US is exactly the addressee of this new provocation. Pyongyang said he wants to contrast “American” hostility. According to their state television, “the heads can be set on strategic ballistic missiles” and “their number and size can vary”.
Similar to Hiroshima
According to the meteorological agency of South Korea, the power unleashed by the explosion reached 10 kilotons, which is dangerously close to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War (15 kilotons).
The international community reacted immediately. The White House “reiterated the unwavering US commitment to guaranteeing the security of our allies in Asia and around the world”. US President Barack Obama, who is in contact with the Japanese and South Korean partners, “said he would have continued to consult our allies and partners next days, to ensure that the provocative actions of North Korea will have many serious consequences”.
Japan on alert
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explained that “North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons represents a serious threat to Japan.” The head of the Japanese Cabinet, Yoshihide Suga, reiterated that a new system of unilateral sanctions will be applied and the executive will continue to cooperate with the main countries in the area, including China and Russia.
China expressed its “resolute opposition” to North Korea’s new nuclear test and invited it to respect its promises on non-proliferation. “We urge North Korea – reads the statement of the Foreign Ministry – to honor its commitments to denuclearization, respecting the resolutions of the UN Security Council and blocking any other action that might aggravate the situation.”