North Korea says that they have successfully conducted their fifth and largest nuclear test to date in defiance of U.N. resolutions, drawing outrage from several countries.
The United States, Japan, South Korea, China and more countries have condemned their latest act of defiance by testing the nuclear warhead, saying that the test was in direct violation of the UN Security Council resolution. China’s foreign ministry urged North Korea to stop taking part in aggressive testing.
The resolution was created to ban North Korea from testing any nuclear warheads or missile technology.
According to some estimates, the warhead that was tested was more powerful than the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II. A 5.3 tremor was registered near the nuclear test site around 9 am local time near Punggye-ri, Kilju County. South Korea estimated the warhead to have an explosive yield of about ten kilotons, which would make it their most powerful nuclear warhead test to date. Some other experts say the test could have had an even higher yield, closer to 20 kilotons.
In comparison, the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was 15 kilotons.
According to North Korea’s official KCNA news agency, the nuclear warhead can be mounted on a medium-range ballistic missile.
The testing was conducted on North Korea’s National Day, which celebrates the founding of their current regime.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the test an act of “self destruction” proving the “maniacal recklessness” of their supreme leader, Kim Jong Un.
“The only thing that Kim Jong Un regime can gain from the nuclear tests is stronger sanctions from the international community and its isolation. Such provocation will eventually hasten its path to self-destruction,” Park Geun-hye said in a statement.
The President was notified of the test while on Air Force one while on his return trip back from Asia. On the phone, he spoke with Park and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“We must lodge a strong protest,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters on Friday. “North Korea’s nuclear development is becoming a graver threat to Japan’s safety and severely undermines the peace and safety of the region and the international community.”
North Korea’s most recent nuclear test was conducted back in January. North Korea has been hit with five sanctions since their first nuclear test back in 2006.
Over the past several months, North Korea conducted multiple ballistic missile launches and one of their largest aims is to be able to mount nuclear warheads on these kinds of missiles. In the past, North Korea has stated that they have the goal of striking enemy targets with these missiles.
“The standardization of the nuclear warhead will enable the DPRK to produce at will and as many as it wants a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power,” KCNA news agency said.
North Korea became angered after the United States and South Korea created a plan to introduce THAAD, which is an anti-missile defense system, to South Korea. North Korea also considers the allies’ annual joint military exercises that are taking place to be a threat towards the country.
The U.N. Security Council is set to have a meeting behind closed doors on Friday to discuss the test.