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N. Korea's apparent sixth nuke test estimated to have yield of 100 kilotons: lawmaker

2017/09/03 14:56

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SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's apparent sixth nuclear test was estimated to have a yield of up to 100 kilotons, about four to five times stronger than the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, the chief of the parliament's defense committee said Sunday.

Citing a report from the military authorities, Kim Young-woo said that the explosive power of the apparent nuke tested Sunday appeared to be much stronger than the North's fifth one estimated to have a yield of 10 kilotons. One kiloton is equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT.

"(The North's latest test) is estimated to have a yield of up to 100 kilotons, though it is a provisional report," Kim of the minor opposition Bareun Party told Yonhap News Agency over the phone. "The test will be a very crucial political and strategic inflexion point."

   Kim also pointed out the need for the Moon Jae-in administration to make a decision over whether to stick to its peace initiative that seeks to re-engage with the belligerent state through both sanctions and dialogue.

Earlier in the day, the South's weather agency detected a magnitude 5.7 earthquake from the North's Pyunggye-ri nuclear test site in a sign of another strategic provocation. South Korean intelligence authorities have said that Pyongyang appears ready for another nuke test.

Pyongyang carried out nuke experiments in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2016.

This photo, taken on Aug. 2, 2017, shows Rep. Kim Young-woo, the chief of the National Assembly's defense committee, speaking during his party meeting at the party headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap) This photo, taken on Aug. 2, 2017, shows Rep. Kim Young-woo, the chief of the National Assembly's defense committee, speaking during his party meeting at the party headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr

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