North Korea’s Korean Central Television (KCTV) officially announced that the country succeeded in its third nuclear test on February 12 at an underground test site located in the northern region.
“The test was completely safe and perfect even though the explosive power of the atomic bomb, reduced in weight and size, was much larger than in the previous experiments,” it continued, adding, “The test has had no negative impact on surrounding natural environments, either.”
Chun Young-woo, South Korea’s Senior Secretary to the President for Foreign Affairs and National Security, also confirmed the fact by issuing a government statement. “The nuclear test at this time following the missile launch is a clear breach of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 184 and 2087,” it read, “The South Korean government strongly urges the North to discard all of its nuclear development plans to be in compliance with the resolutions and accept the demand of the international community.”
According to the Korea Earthquake Research Center of the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, an artificial earthquake occurred at 11:57:51 am in Kilju County, North Hamgyung Province, at a magnitude of 4.9 on the Richter scale. It is equivalent to an explosive power of approximately seven kilotons, or 7,000 tons of TNT detonated at the same time.
The research center remarked that the test site was assumed to be in the vicinity of Punggye-ri, where the second nuclear test had been carried out. During the first and second ones seven and four years ago, the magnitude of the artificial seismic waves had been 3.9 and 4.4, respectively. Given that the blast doubles when the magnitude increases by 0.2, the third test is presumed to be four times as stronger as the previous one in terms of explosive force.
On the same day, the Federations of Korean Industries (FKI) and the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KORCHAM) issued strong statements of condemnation against the North and its nuclear test, too.
“We strongly denounce the North’s provocative action of pushing ahead with the nuclear test as well as the long-range rocket launch,” said the KORCHAM, “North Korea has to realize that such brinkmanship will result only in more international sanctions and it will have to be fully responsible for the provocation.” It went on, “The South Korean government, on its part, will have to seek different measures so that the repeated nuclear tests and the increasing North Korea risk would not compromise our economic reliability and put a brake on our economic activities. Despite the provocation of the North, all South Korean entrepreneurs will keep doing their utmost to revitalize the national economy by continuing to make dedicated efforts for investment, export and job creation.”
The FKI echoed, “The international community and the South Korean government had warned North Korea over and over but the communist regime, condemnably, crossed the line in the end. The nuclear test is by no means acceptable in light of world peace and stability in Northeast Asia and thus the government will have to cooperate even more closely with its allies to minimize the impact on national security and economy.”