By Sabrina Slagowitz
Early Friday morning, a South Korean news agency divulged that European monitoring agency reported a roughly 5.0 magnitude quake in North Korea. Later in the morning, North Korea came forward claiming that it had set off its fifth nuclear test, successfully testing a nuclear warhead. If this claim is true, this test would be the most powerful test conducted thus far. Nuclear warheads can be installed on ballistic rockets and allow for “a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power,” a state news source said. Melissa Hammond, a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said “It’s hard for us to verify their claim. My deep fear is that they will launch a live nuclear weapon on one of their missiles, but that would be extremely dangerous as that could trigger a war.” Many countries condemned the test including South Korea, China, and Japan, citing a clear violation of the UN Security Council resolution. Park Guen-hye, the president of South Korea called Kim Jong Un’s regime “fanatically reckless.” “The only thing that Kim Jong Un regime can gain from the nuclear tests is stronger sanctions from the international community and its isolation. Such provocation will eventually hasten its path to self-destruction,” she said. The seismic activity caused by the test was near Punggye-ri, Kilju County. This location is where the four other tests took place, the latest in Janurary.