SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea says it has conducted a “higher level” nuclear warhead test explosion, one that will allow it to finally build an array of stronger, smaller and lighter nuclear weapons. It is Pyongyang’s fifth atomic test and the second in eight months.
South Korea’s weather agency says 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. The North’s fourth test was an estimated six kilotons.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay) strongly condemned the test, saying in a statement that it showed the “fanatic recklessness of the Kim Jong Un government as it clings to nuclear development.”
Park’s office says she spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama about the test Friday morning during a regional summit in Laos. Park said South Korea will employ all available measures to put more pressure on North Korea, which has previously conducted nuclear tests every three to four years.