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North Korea's nuclear power might have just been revealed

14 September 2017

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on September 3, prompting the U.N. Security Council to step up sanctions with a ban on the reclusive regime's textile exports and a cap on fuel supplies.

South Korea says it has found a small amount of radioactive element from air samples it collected following North Korea's latest nuclear test.

It estimated the explosive yield from the sixth test at 250 kilotons, which is much larger than an initial estimate of 70 kilotons by the Japanese Defense Ministry.

Writing for 38 North, the Johns Hopkins University website dedicated to North Korea issues, analysts Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu say North Korea's site now has "additional slippage" in "pre-existing landslide scars" and a "possible subsidence crater".

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said Wednesday the discovery of xenon-133 isotope is linked to the North's bomb test conducted in its northeast on September 3.

The North claimed to have carried out a hydrogen bomb test.

"The yield of the test clearly shows North Korean progress in increasing the yields of their nuclear weapons", the analysts said.

On Wednesday, South Korea confirmed reports that it had detected radioactive gas from the nuclear site, but remained unable to verify whether a hydrogen bomb had in fact been used.

North Korea is faced with an even more intensified pressure from the worldwide community that has been trying for years to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

The United Nations Security Council approved fresh sanctions against Pyongyang in a unanimous vote on Monday, slashing the cap on crude and refined oil exports to the country by 30 percent.

Japanese professional wrestler-turned-lawmaker Antonio Inoki, who has conducted sports diplomacy with North Korea since the 1990s, has urged Japan to do more to calm escalating tensions between the US and North Korea.

Later, North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song even said, "My delegation condemns in the strongest terms and categorically rejects the latest illegal and unlawful UN Security Council resolution".

North Korea's nuclear power might have just been revealed