North Korea confirms that it has conducted a successful “nuclear warhead explosion” test, saying it was meant to counter US hostility.
“Our nuclear scientists staged a nuclear explosion test on a newly developed nuclear warhead at the country’s northern nuclear test site,” a TV announcer said on Friday.
The confirmation came after South Korean authorities said they believed North Korea has conducted a fifth nuclear test — its biggest to date — following the detection of an “artificial earthquake.”
South Korea’s meteorological agency said the magnitude 5.3 quake was detected near North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
“The 10-kiloton blast was nearly twice the fourth nuclear test and slightly less than the Hiroshima bombing, which was measured about 15 kilotons,” said Kim Nam-Wook of South Korea’s meteorological agency.
Reacting to the development, the White House said it was assessing the explosion near North Korea’s nuclear test, but stopped short of confirming a nuclear test.