North Korea carried out its fifth and most powerful nuclear test on Friday (NYT). Reports of the Korean Central News Agency claim that the country is now able to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile; this would allow the production of “smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power” (AP). South Korean President Park Geun-hye referred to the test as an act of “fanatic recklessness” and a violation of the United Nations Security Council’s resolution (Al Jazeera). U.S. President Barack Obama said North Korea’s actions constitute a “grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability” (Reuters).
The size and extent of North Korea’s missile technology cannot be determined with scientific certainty until they are used (BBC). However, South Korean weather agencies estimate a blast of about 10 to 12 kilotons; by comparison, the U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 exploded with an energy of 15 kilotons (NYT). North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has pushed the development of nuclear weapons, ignoring the United Nations Security Council’s already tight sanctions (Reuters). Christopher Hill, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, told BBC that it is unlikely North Korea will respond to further sanctions, and indicated that a possible solution might involve an alliance with China (BBC).
Tags: north korea, global peace and security, United States, South Korea, Moeller, nuclear