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Friday, September 9, 2016, 18:06

DPRK confirms nuke warhead explosion

By Agencies

DPRK said the test proved it is capable of mounting a nuclear warhead on a medium-range ballistic missile, which it last tested on Monday when Obama and other world leaders were gathered in China for a G20 summit.

Its claims of being able to miniaturise a nuclear warhead have never been independently verified.

DPRK has been testing missiles at an unprecedented rate this year, and the capability to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile is especially worrisome for its neighbours ROK and Japan.

"The standardisation of the nuclear warhead will enable the DPRK to produce at will and as many as it wants a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power," KCNA said, referring to DPRK, also known as North Korea.

DPRK confirms nuke warhead explosion

Japan Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said the Pyongyang regime's advances in mobile ballistic missile technology posed a grave threat to Japan.

DPRK's nuclear test coincided with the anniversary of its 1948 foundation as a republic.

Its continued testing despite sanctions presents a severe challenge to Obama in the final months of his presidency and could become a factor in the US presidential election in November.

Japan's Abe said such a nuclear test could not be tolerated. Japan's foreign minister lodged a protest and Tokyo also sent two military jets to begin measuring for radiation.

ROK's weather agency said the explosive yield of the North Korean blast would have been 10 to 12 kilotons, or 70 to 80 percent of the force of the 15-kiloton atomic bomb the United States dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. DPRK's fourth test was an estimated six kilotons.

DPRK said no radioactive material leaked, but the explosion put the region on edge.

DPRK has fired a total of 33 ballistic missiles since Kim took power in 2011, Seoul's Defense Ministry said. In comparison, DPRK fired 16 ballistic missiles during the 17-year rule of Kim's father, Kim Jong-il.

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