North Korea's latest nuclear test was so powerful, it shrunk a mountain
Sep 15, 2017, 00:29
The news comes just two days after North Korea vowed it would keep expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal despite recent sanctions imposed by the United Nations.
The United States, South Korea and other governments have yet to confirm that the North tested such a weapon, but the September 3 test, the North's sixth, was by far its most powerful to date.
Moon said just because the United States and South Korea were now pursuing a firm path of sanctions and military drills, the time for negotiations wasn't over.
North Korea's latest threats also singled out Japan for "dancing to the tune" of the USA, saying that it should never be pardoned for not offering a honest apology for its "never-to-be-condoned crimes against our people", an apparent reference to Japan's wartime aggression.
While the North is pursuing nuclear arms program in defiance of an inter-Korean denuclearization pact and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the South has remained nuclear-free since all American nukes were withdrawn in 1991.
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While it was impossible to put a number on the scale of the North Korea risk, war games carried out through history have simulated what could happen as a result, said Tina Fordham, managing director and chief global analyst at Citi. It says the make-up of those radioactive isotopes in air samples could shows if a nuclear test was from a plutonium or uranium bomb.
As North Korea holds more frequent and more powerful tests, the South in particular has ramped up its deterrence efforts.
On the same day, South Korea announced it had conducted its first live-fire drill for an advanced air-launched cruise missile that would strengthen its pre-emptive strike capability against North Korea in the event of crisis. "The significance of this is that it has the potential to dramatically increase the threat posed by" its ballistic missiles.
"The fact that the North Korean programme has come under sharp and closer scrutiny, that warrants some examination of its backward linkages", Jaishankar said.
A pre-emptive strike against Pyongyang's leadership would be hard to undertake, but it's widely seen as the most realistic of the limited military options Seoul has to deny a nuclear attack from its rival.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is moving mountains with his nuclear tests.
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