Seismic tremor detected near North Korea nuclear test site

Joy Montgomery
September 3, 2017

South Korea's president in response to the North Korean test on Sunday called for the "strongest possible" response. "This shows the trustworthy system of our nuclear engineering technology, from today's successful test".

South Korea's meteorological agency called it a "man-made" natural disaster. Pyongyang says its missile development is part of a defensive effort to build a viable nuclear deterrent that can target US cities.

South Korea's main spy agency has previously asserted that it does not think Pyongyang now has the ability to develop miniaturized nuclear weapons that can be mounted on long-range ballistic missiles.

U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and South Korean National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong held a 20-minute phone call to discuss North Korea's nuclear test, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing South Korea's presidential office. Japan and South Korea said it was around 10 times more powerful than the tremor picked up after the last test a year ago. The last nuclear test Pyongyang conducted, which was almost a year ago, triggered a 5.3-magnitude seismological event.

"The worldwide community must treat this new provocation with the utmost firmness, in order to bring North Korea to come back unconditionally to the path of dialogue and to proceed to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear and ballistic programme", he said in a statement.

"The test of a hydrogen bomb created to be mounted on our intercontinental ballistic missile was a ideal success", said Korean Central Television newscaster Ri Chun Hee, who retired in 2012, but occasionally reappears for major events.

"The government confirms that North Korea conducted a nuclear test after examining information from the weather agency and other information", said Taro Kono, Japan's foreign minister.

North Korea's recent nuclear tests have also happened exactly on the hour.

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The government of Japan confirmed on Sunday that North Korea has conducted sixth nuclear test.

That Pyongyang conducted another experiment signals a continued effort to advance as a nuclear state despite years of effort by the global community to reverse those gains.

North Korea's sixth nuclear test - probably its largest so far - sends out one clear political signal. Trump has been talking tough with the North over its stepped-up missile tests, including a comment that Pyongyang would see fire, fury and power unlike any the world had ever witnessed if it continued even verbal threats.

North Korea claimed that it set off a thermonuclear weapon during the September 2016 test, but experts said the data showed it was more likely boosted fission weapon.

To back up its claims to nuclear mastery, such tests are vital.

It has since tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and last month, fired a potentially nuclear-capable missile over northern Japan. The metro area is home to almost half of the South Korean population of 50 million.

Russian Federation said the test defied worldwide law and urged all sides involved to hold talks, saying this was the only way to resolve the Korean peninsula's problems.

The White House said Trump spoke with Abe regarding "ongoing efforts to maximize pressure on North Korea".

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