South Korea confirms traces of radioactive gas from North Korea's nuclear test

A North Korean state agency threatened yesterday to use nuclear weapons to "sink" Japan and reduce the United States to "ashes and darkness" for backing a United Nations Security Council resolution and sanctions over its latest nuclear test.

The sanctions resolution, adopted in response to the nuclear test this month, was the ninth passed by the Security Council since North Korea's first such test in 2006.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said its land-based xenon detector in the northeastern part of the country found traces of xenon-133 isotope on nine occasions, while its mobile equipment off the country's east coast detected traces of the isotope four times.


North Korea is continuing to antagonize its neighbors and the US.

Xenon is a naturally occurring, colorless gas that is used in manufacturing of some sorts of lights.

Nuclear-armed North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on August 29 in a major escalation of tensions by Pyongyang. He said sanctions and regional diplomacy wouldn't work, either.


"Regardless of whether this most recent test was an operational warhead for an ICBM or simply a device, the yield of the test clearly shows North Korean progress in increasing the yields of their nuclear weapons", the analysis said. The analysts gave no indication that a test appeared to be imminent. "But I do not agree that we need to develop our own nuclear weapons or bring back [U.S.] tactical nuclear weapons to respond to the North's nuclear capabilities".

The statement from a group called the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee attacked the United States for leading a push for stronger U.N. sanctions against North Korea, as well as Japan for joining the US campaign.

The South Korean military said earlier in the day that it had successfully tested a new air-to-land "bunker buster" Taurus cruise missile, part of its effort to increase its ability to destroy key weapons sites and bunkers deep underground where the North's leaders might take refuge. She added that the images from the North's nuclear test in 2016 did not show substantial change on the mountain's surface. Those three prongs - ground, air, and submarine - constitute what the military calls its nuclear triad.


"These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than seen after any of the North's previous five tests, and include additional slippage in pre-existing landslide scars and a possible subsidence crater", the report says.


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