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North Korea’s leader orders mini nuke tests

11 March 2016 7:10



North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un has ordered more nuclear tests using the miniaturized nuclear warheads, which he recently claimed the country has produced.

On Wednesday, Kim said that the country’s nuclear scientists had managed to diminish nuclear warheads in size to make them fit for launch on ballistic missiles.

“The nuclear warheads have been standardized to be fit for ballistic missiles by miniaturizing them,” the official KCNA news agency quoted him as saying.

He laid emphasis on Thursday on conducting “more nuclear explosion tests to estimate the destructive power of the newly produced nuclear warheads,” the agency said.

North Korea declared itself a nuclear power in 2005 and carried out four nuclear weapons tests in 2006, 2009, 2013, and 2016. It has also carried out various missile tests, including one last month, which it claimed was aimed at placing an earth observation satellite into orbit. The launch was condemned by some countries as a disguised missile test.

Pyongyang has been the target of hard-hitting United Nations sanctions over the nuclear tests and missile launches.

Reacting to its latest nuclear test, the UN Security Council passed a raft of economic sanctions against the country earlier this month.

In this US Navy photo released on March 9, 2016, the US Navy amphibious assault ships USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), bottom, and USS Boxer (LHD 4), second from top, sail with the South Korean Navy Dokdo Amphibious Ready Group during military exercises on March 8, 2016. ©AFP

The North accuses the United States of plotting with regional allies to topple its government. It has issued numerous harshly-toned statements blasting regular US-South Korea drills, which it views as a direct threat to its sovereignty.

Most recently, Kim said the country would launch an immediate nuclear attack if the “saber-rattling” drills should harm “even a single tree or a blade of grass” on North Korean territory, adding, “I will issue a prompt order to launch attack with all military strike means.”

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