World

N. Korea's latest test 10 times more powerful than Hiroshima

TOKYO Japan yesterday upgraded its estimated size of North Korea's latest nuclear test to a yield of around 160 kilotonnes - more than 10 times the size of the Hiroshima bomb.

This marked Tokyo's second revision higher after previously giving estimates of 70 and 120 kilotons. Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said it was based on a revised magnitude by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).

"This is far more powerful than their nuclear tests in the past," Mr Onodera said.

15 KILOTONNES

The US bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 carried a yield of 15 kilotonnes.

Japan's latest estimate far exceeded the yield of between 50 and 100 kilotonnes indicated by United Nations political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman at the UN Security Council.

Yesterday, Mr Onodera held telephone talks with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and they agreed to step up "visible pressure" on North Korea, the ministry in Tokyo said.

"North Korea's nuclear and missile development is at a new stage of grave and imminent threats," Mr Onodera told Mr Mattis, the ministry said.

Pyongyang's Sunday test of what it described as a hydrogen bomb designed for a long-range missile triggered global alarm and has divided the international community.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council that Washington would present a new sanctions resolution to be negotiated in the coming days, but Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday rejected US calls for more sanctions as "useless".

Mr Putin's comments appeared to have widened a split among major powers over how to rein in Pyongyang, pitting Moscow and Beijing against Washington and its allies.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to press Mr Putin for his support over the North Korea's provocation, when the two leaders hold talks in Vladivostok today.- AFP

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