North Korea’s fifth nuclear test draws international outrage

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives a speech at the 9th Congress of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August 29, 2016. Photo by KCNA/ via REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives a speech at the 9th Congress of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August 29, 2016. Photo by KCNA/ via REUTERS

North Korea has admitted to conducting its fifth nuclear test in a decade, and its second in eight months. The state’s television service confirmed the test occurred Friday morning, local time, on the 68th anniversary of North Korea’s founding. The U.S. Geological Survey registered a magnitude 5.3 explosion based on seismic activity, and South Korean officials say it is the biggest-ever test for North Korea in terms of explosive yield. North Korea claimed its military possesses the ability to mount warheads on ballistic missiles, according to its state-run media.

“The standardization of the nuclear warhead will enable (North Korea) to produce at will and as many as it wants a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power,” North Korea said, according to the Associated Press. “This has definitely put on a higher level (the North’s) technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic rockets.”

South Korean officials estimated the explosive power of the blast was 10 to 12 kilotons. By comparison, the atomic bomb dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima in 1945 was 15 kilotons.

South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye described the mental state of third generation dictator Kim Jong-Un as “out of control” and said the event was “fanatic recklessness” on the part of North Korea’s government, according to the Associated Press. Other world leaders also condemned the test. President Barack Obama, who spoke with Geun-hye via phone after the test, said the U.S. will never accept North Korea as a nuclear power, AP reports.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga described North Korea as an “outlaw nation in the neighborhood,” according to the AP. The Russian Foreign Ministry insisted in a statement that “the North Korean side stop its dangerous escapades and unconditionally implement all resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.”

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