North Korea conducted its second nuclear test in eight months on Friday, raising concerns that Pyongyang has moved a step closer to its goal of a nuclear-armed missile that could one day strike the U.S. mainland, NBC News reported.
President Barack Obama said the U.S. condemned the test "in the strongest possible terms as a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability." He said the U.S. "does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state." United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used similar language in condemning the test.
State TV said the atomic detonation — the fifth carried out by Kim Jong Un's isolated regime — "put on a higher level [the North's] technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic rockets."
The test, which registered as a 5.0-magnitude tremor, raised concerns that Pyongyang has moved a step closer to its goal of a nuclear-armed missile that could one day strike the U.S. mainland.
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A South Korean military official said the event appeared to have the "impact" of a 10-kiloton explosion.
"It would be smaller than both Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but it would still rip the heart out of a city," IHS Jane's analyst Karl Dewey said.