Russia’s Seismic Monitoring Confirms September 3 North Korean Nuclear Test
AP Photo/ Wong Maye-E, FileWorld11:28 11.05.2018Get short URL
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian Defense Ministry’s seismic monitoring confirms that North Korea carried out a nuclear test last September, the chief of the ministry’s Special Control Service, Col. Igor Tokarev, told Sputnik.
On September 3, North Korea announced that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Japanese and South Korean military said that it could be a hydrogen bomb of estimated 160 kilotonnes of TNT, which is about 10 times more powerful than the bomb dropped by the United States on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. It was the sixth nuclear test by Pyongyang.
“The fact that North Korea carried out an underground test of a nuclear device on September 3, 2017, which was several times more powerful than those previously tested, was confirmed by our seismic monitoring data. As a result of the nuclear test, radioactive products were emitted into the atmosphere. In coordination with the [Russian] Aerospace Forces, we collected air samples, which were subjected to a thorough analysis through the technical means of the Special Control [Service]. The analysis’ results additionally confirmed that a nuclear test was carried out,” Tokarev said.
Pyongyang declared itself a nuclear power in 2005, and four years later withdrew from the six-party talks on North Korea’s denuclearization.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula escalated in the past two years due to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests, which led to heightened tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, with the latter pushing the international community into exerting a maximum pressure on North Korea.
The situation significantly got better in the run-up to South Korea’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, with the North’s athletes participating in the event.
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In April, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and pursue a peace treaty that would replace an armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean war.
On June 12, Kim and US President Donald Trump are expected to hold a summit in Singapore, with the issue of denuclearization supposed to dominate the talks.