India, Japan slam North Korea's nuclear programme

Violet Powell
September 15, 2017

North Korea has threatened to destroy Japan with nuclear weapons and turn the U.S. into "ashes and darkness" as the two countries spearheaded fresh UN Security Council sanctions.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (yo-SHEE'-hee-deh SOO'-gah) said Thursday that the statement distributed by North Korea's state news service "significantly escalates tensions in the region".

North Korea threatened Thursday to use nuclear weapons to "sink" Japan and turn the United States into "ashes and darkness", in reaction to the new U.N. sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile programs.

New analysis of North Korea's September 3 nuclear test ― the regime's sixth-ever and most powerful to date ― suggests it could have been twice as strong as previously thought.

The new sanctions set a cap on crude and refined oil exports to North Korea at 8.5 million barrels per year, which represents a 30 percent reduction, according to US officials.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is moving mountains with his nuclear tests.

North Korea carries out its nuclear tests in a complex of tunnels at its Punggye-ri site and images of the mountains, in this case Mount Mantap, above it can give experts a sense of where the device was tested exactly and how powerful it was.

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"The adoption of heinous "sanctions resolution" hardens our faith that what we should depend on is only our self-defensive nuclear force", the statement said, stressing North Korea's resolve to accelerate nuclear and missile development.

There is evidence the North Koreans will not stop tests at Punggye-ri, they said.

Analysts for 38 North, who are devoted to reporting on the regime, believe this activity may indicate that preparation for future tests in other underground portals is underway.

This week, analysts at 38 North, a monitoring service, said satellite images of North Korea's nuclear testing site showed the effects of the quake caused by the most recent test, as well as preparations for "future underground nuclear testing". If enforced, it would deprive North Korea of 30 percent of its annual fuel imports.

The North claimed to have carried out a hydrogen bomb test.

Moon said just because the US and South Korea were now pursuing a firm path of sanctions and military drills, the time for negotiations wasn't over. "The significance of this is that it has the potential to dramatically increase the threat posed by" its ballistic missiles.

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