North Korea has staged its fifth nuclear test. The country’s state-run media says it was the first successful test explosion of a nuclear warhead.
Korean Central Television aired a special news bulletin at around 1 PM Friday local time, and read out a statement by the country’s nuclear weapons research institute.
The statement says a nuclear explosion has been successfully carried out at a test site in the country’s north to gauge the power of a nuclear warhead.
It says researchers have completed final confirmation of the structure, performance and strength of a nuclear warhead so it can be mounted on a ballistic missile.
It also says North Korea can now produce various types of nuclear warheads with high offensive capabilities anytime, in necessary quantities, raising its nuclear weaponization to a higher standard.
Analysts say Pyongyang is trying to showcase the progress it has supposedly made in developing a nuclear warhead that can be placed on a ballistic missile.
The Japanese and South Korean governments confirmed the test, after tremors with an estimated 5.3 magnitude were detected in North Korea’s northeast on Friday morning.
In March, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered ballistic missile launches and preparation for a test explosion of a nuclear warhead.
Pyongyang’s four nuclear tests since 2006 were held at intervals of three to four years. But the fifth came just eight months after the previous one, in January.
Source and image: NHK