Seoul: North Korea has successfully tested a nuclear warhead, it said on Friday, drawing condemnation from the South which said the “maniacal recklessness” of young ruler Kim Jong-Un would lead to self-destruction.
Pyongyang’s state media said the test, which comes after a series of ballistic missile launches that have drawn international condemnation and UN sanctions, had achieved its goal of being able to fit a miniaturised nuclear warhead on a rocket.
“Our nuclear scientists staged a nuclear explosion test on a newly developed nuclear warhead at the country’s northern nuclear test site,” a North Korean TV announcer said.
“Our... party sent a congratulatory message to our nuclear scientists... for conducting the successful nuclear warhead explosion test,” she said as the South judged it was the North’s biggest test yet at 10 kilotons. The move drew swift condemnation from US President Barack Obama who warned of “serious consequences” and said he had called the leaders of South Korea and Japan to confer over the crisis.
President Park Geun-Hye spoke out against the “maniacal recklessness” of Kim, who since taking control after the death of his father in 2011 has carried out a series of purges and weapons tests designed to show strength and consolidate power.
“Kim Jong-Un’s regime will only earn more sanctions and isolation... and such provocation will further accelerate its path to self-destruction,” Park said, warning his obsession with creating a nuclear arsenal posed a grave challenge.
“We will step up pressure on the North by using all possible measures, including more, stronger sanctions on the North with the international community and at the UN Security Council,” she said. The news emerged when seismic monitors detected a 5.3-magnitude “artificial earthquake” on Friday.
Yen up, won hit as north korea test jolts markets
Traders bought the yen and dumped the South Korean won on Friday as financial markets were jolted by news that North Korea conducted another nuclear test, reigniting geopolitical tensions.
Pyongyang later said the test had confirmed that it could mount a nuclear warhead on a rocket, hours after it carried out its fifth atomic explosion. The news aggravated geopolitical tensions in the region.
China asks North korea to Halt Nuclear activities
“Firmly opposing” North Korea’s fifth nuclear test, close ally China on Friday lodged a diplomatic protest with the reclusive state and asked it to honour its commitment to denuclearisation and halt any move that could “aggravate the situation.” “We strongly urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to honour the commitment to denuclearisation,” an officail said....