North Korea Accepts Conducting “Nuclear Warhead Explosion”
The seismic event in North Korea appeared to be a nuclear test, South Korea’s meteorological agency said.
North Korea has now accepted it conducted a “nuclear warhead explosion” to counter US hostility, putting an end to all speculation.
A seismic tremor of magnitude 5.3 was recorded in an area around North Korea’s known nuclear site on Friday, and was suspected to be the fifth nuclear test by the isolated nation, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.
US, European and Chinese seismological agencies reported that the tremor was recorded at 00:30 GMT at surface level.
A South Korean government official said it was a suspected nuclear test, Yonhap reported, and Seoul called for an emergency National Security Council meeting.
The China Earthquake Networks Center said the tremor was a suspected explosion.
Japan’s top government spokesperson also said that there was a high possibility the seismic event indicated that North Korea had conducted a nuclear test, and that relevant ministries had been instructed to gather information.
Two months ago, US-based 38 North, a North Korea monitoring project, said satellite images showed a high-level of activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site, called Punggye-ri.
Speculations that North Korea may conduct a fifth nuclear test have intensified after the United States blacklisted its leader, Kim Jong Un, on 6 July for human rights abuses.
North Korea had conducted its fourth nuclear test in January, resulting in tough new UN sanctions. It has conducted a series of missile tests this year, including a submarine-launched missile.
The January test was recorded with a magnitude of 5.1, according to the US Geological Survey.
North Korea has been under UN Security Council sanctions since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.
South Korea to Hold Emergency National Security Council Meeting
South Korea’s presidential Blue House will hold a National Security Council meeting at 2 pm on Friday after seismic activity was detected near North Korea’s known nuclear test site.
The South Korean Prime Minister will preside over the meeting, a Blue House official said over telephone.
South Korea’s military has convened a crisis management team after the US Geological Survey recorded a seismic event with a magnitude of 5.3 in North Korea, the defence ministry in Seoul said in a statement.
Reactions to the Nuclear Test
Ned Price, Spokesperson of the National Security Council tweeted:
North Korea has been under UN Security Council sanctions since it had first tested its atomic device in 2006.
The US also condemned the launch and said that such a step by North Korea was a violation of multiple Security Council resolutions.
Japan also took a strong stand against the test.
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