A North Korean nuclear test was held last Sunday, 3 September, 2017—drawing the outrage and rebuke of world leaders, including that of ally China. The test, North Korean officials say, demonstrated the country’s capacity to put an advanced hydrogen bomb on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The test is considered by field experts as the state’s most powerful among the six it has conducted—ten times more powerful than a test held a year ago, according to Japanese officials. North Korea has made claims of the range of its developed projectiles; it has threatened that one of its warheads can reach the US mainland.
A Norway-based group that monitors nuclear tests described Sunday’s device as ten times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb.
North Korean state news anchor Ri Chun Hee described the test as a “perfect success” and goes toward attaining a “state nuclear force.” Hours earlier, state news showed leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a hydrogen bomb that would be loaded onto an ICBM.
The United States, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, and South Korea have requested an emergency session of the UN Security Council. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the test as “profoundly destabilizing for regional security.”
In response to the test, South Korea’s armed forces conducted a combined live-fire exercise. The drill involved surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, and fighter jets hitting targets off the coast of South Korea—to simulate efficiency for striking North Korea’s nuclear test site.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs condemned North Korea for the test, with Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano saying that the “provocative” move “degrades options for meaningful dialogue.” The DFA has ordered the Philippine embassy in Seoul to ensure that the estimated 65,000 Filipinos living and working there are briefed on contingency plans. It has assured that the Philippine government is ready to help with evacuation, should the situation escalate.