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North Korea Conducts Sixth Nuclear Test

Sept. 3, 2017 (EIRNS)—North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test earlier today (Saturday night U.S. Eastern time). North Korea’s state media claimed, in a "critical announcement" issued at 3:30 p.m. local time, that the test was a "complete success of a hydrogen warhead for an ICBM." The test took place hours after North Korea claimed that it had completed its thermonuclear technologies, and was now capable of producing "powerful nuclear weapons at will." The seismometer readings from China and South Korea measured 6.3 and 5.7 magnitude tremors, respectively, resulting from the blast—substantially greater than North Korea’s earlier nuclear tests.

U.S. President Donald Trump declared that "appeasement with North Korea" will not work. "North Korea has conducted a major nuclear test," Trump said. "Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States."

China’s Foreign Ministry said that China "expresses its firm opposition (to the test) and strongly condemns it." North Korea "has ignored the international community’s widespread opposition, again carrying out a nuclear test. China’s government expresses resolute opposition and strong condemnation toward this," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the test

"yet another example of Pyongyang’s outright disregard of the demands of respective UN Security Council resolutions and international law [and] deserves absolute condemnation."

At the same time, the ministry advised restraint and a return to dialogue.

"Under the unfolding conditions, it is essential to keep calm and to restrain from any acts, which may lead to further escalation of tensions,"

the statement said.

"We urge all interested parties to promptly return to dialogue and negotiations, the only possible way for a comprehensive settlement of the Korean Peninsula problems, including the nuclear problem."

Analysts’ initial estimates of the yield from Sunday’s test varied, ranging from 100 kilotons up to 1 megaton. Either way, said Jeffrey Lewis of the Arms Control Wonk website, it was "a staged thermonuclear weapon" which represents a significant advance in North Korea’s weapons program, reported Agence France-Presse. Koo Kab-woo of Seoul’s University of North Korean Studies suggested that North Korea may not need any more tests, however, since Pakistan conducted six tests in 1998 and none since. "If we look at it from Pakistan’s example, the North might be in the final stages" of becoming a nuclear state, he said.