North Korea has conducted another nuclear test, its fifth ever and the largest to date. According to analysis, the latest bomb was bigger than the one detonated at Hiroshima in 1945. The test violates a UN treaty.
On the 68th anniversary of North Korea’s establishment as a state, the nation conducted its fifth nuclear test. According to some estimates, the bomb was more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima.
The United States and other nations have pledged new sanctions on the reclusive state. The United Nations Security Council has said it would discuss the situation in a closed-door meeting scheduled for Friday.
North Korea first detonated an atomic weapon in 2006 and has been a nuclear power for a decade. In that time, they have improved the quality and reliability of their nuclear devices. The country is rumored to be developing miniature nuclear devices known as backpack bombs. Soldiers wearing backpacks with nuclear warning symbols on them were recently seen on parade in Pyongyang. North Korean officials claim the soldiers can detonate these bombs to unleash untold destruction. Most experts are skeptical of the claim.
North Korea has also developed improved ballistic missile technology. The country appears able to launch a missile from a submarine as well as from land-based sites.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, 32, is bombastic and has made belligerent statements that threaten war. However, such bellicose talk is normal for the nation and is routinely ignored. But officials privately fear that a crisis within the country or a miscalculation could cause North Korea to go on the offensive.
North Korea has sunk ships, taken prisoners and hostages, and fired artillery across its border. Such acts are usually seen as attempts to force concessions out of the west and South Korea. The nation is partially reliant on international aid to feed its people.
North Korea’s closest ally, China, has condemned the test and announced they will lodge a formal complaint. It is unclear however if China will impose sanctions on North Korea. President Obama has vowed the North will face consequences. Russia has also condemned the test.
North Korea is already an international pariah and additional sanctions may not provide much more pressure. Kim Jong Un is able to do as he pleases and without resorting to war, the world can do very little about it.