The North Korean leader said on March 10 that the country developed small nuclear warheads to use on ballistic missiles.
On Tuesday, the official North Korean KCNA news agency has said that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the country’s military to prepare to conduct a nuclear warhead test and multiple ballistic missile launches “in a short time.”
“He (Kim) instructed the relevant section to make prearrangement for them to the last detail,” KCNA said.
Earlier this month, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed sanctions on North Korea, including bans on exports.
In a response to the KCNA report, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said that Pyongyang does not have the ability to guide the rocket after it re-enters the atmosphere.
However, the North Korean leader said on March 10 that the country developed small nuclear warheads to use on ballistic missiles.
On the other hand, South Korean President Park Geun-hye warned that North Korea would go through self-destruction if it continued to be disobedient to the international community.
China also expressed its concern regarding the Kim Jong-un’s order to conduct nuclear bomb test.
“We urge all the relevant sides to conscientiously carry out what is required by the U.N. Security Council, speak and act cautiously, and all relevant sides must not take any action that would exacerbate tensions on the Korean peninsula,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a regular briefing.
Tensions have escalated since the start of 2016 after the North’s nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch on February 7. North Korea said that the rocket launch was aimed at placing an earth observation satellite into orbit but Washington and Seoul argued the move was a cover for an intercontinental ballistic missile test.
The US occasionally deploys nuclear-powered warships and aircraft capable of carrying atomic weapons in the region. In response, North Korea has vowed to develop a nuclear arsenal in an effort to protect itself from the US military.
However, the Korean Peninsula has been a hotspot since the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended in a truce. Since no peace deal was signed; technically the two Koreas remain at war.