North Korea has detonated its biggest nuclear weapon to date on the communist states national day.
The test was carried out at the Punggye-Ri test site in the north of the country and triggered a seismic event reaching 5.3 on the Richter scale.
The test is believed to be part of the North’s program to miniaturize nuclear weapons in order to fit them onto ballistic missiles. North Korea is not currently believed to have been able to achieve that yet but Pyongyang has claimed it can produce “at will, and as many as it wants, a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power”.
North Korea has also tested a series of ballistic missiles this year.
Very few claims by the North are verified due to the closed of nature of the state and they have a history of over stating their abilities. Despite this, there has been a marked increase in the testing of both nuclear weapons and missiles over recent years.
Worldwide condemnation has followed the test with South Korea accusing Kim Jong Un of “maniacal recklessness”. China, the North’s biggest allies, said it firmly opposed the test and the US warned of serious consequences.
Nuclear Weapons tests are banned by the United Nations (UN) and North Korea is already heavily sanctioned by the UN as a result of previous tests.