This morning’s test explosion of an atomic weapon in North Korea was between 10 and 20 times more powerful than the one it tested in 2006, according to Russian defense experts. The estimated yield of 10 to 20 kilotons puts in about on par with the US bombs used at the end of the second world war against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
North Korean officials say that they cannot rule out “the possibility of carrying out new nuclear tests,” adding that this would take place “if the United States and its allies continue their policy of intimidation of North Korea.”
Governments across the world condemned the test, with President Obama saying it was “in violation of international law,” and calling for the world to “bring pressure to make sure they don’t achieve a nuclear weapons program that can threaten other countries and the US as well.”
Exactly how much weight the threat of further sanctions carries in the already international isolated nation is unclear, with one official declaring “we are not going to worry about sanctions. If they sanction us, we will become more powerful,” and adding “we don’t care about America and what they say.”