Pyongyang’s ‘weapons first, negotiations later’ strategy
On 9 September 2016, the US Geological Survey detected a 5.3-magnitude earthquake in the area of North Korea’s Punggye-ri underground test site. Four hours later, North Korean state television announced that it had successfully detonated a nuclear warhead. Based on the seismic waveforms, the blast is estimated to have been about 10 kilotons — more than twice as large as the recent test in January and is the most powerful test conducted so far by North Korea.
A more significant revelation from the test is the rapid progress that North Korea has made in developing their nuclear technology. According to the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), the test ‘finally examined and confirmed the structure and specific features of movement of [a] nuclear warhead that has been standardised to be able to be mounted on strategic ballistic rockets’.
This article was first published here on ISDP Voices.
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