North Korea Considered to Possess Nuclear Weapons: Japanese Minister (News)


Tokyo, Sept. 10 (Jiji Press)—North Korea is considered to possess nuclear weapons given the size of its latest nuclear test, Japanese Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori said Sunday.

"Given that the [September 3] nuclear test had a yield of about 160 kilotons, ten times the size of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, we have no choice but to think that North Korea possesses nuclear weapons," Onodera told reporters in Tokyo.

While noting that it is up to the international community to decide whether to recognize North Korea as a nuclear state, he said that with repeated nuclear tests, the country has considerable capability.

Speaking on television earlier on Sunday, Onodera said that North Korea wants to acquire the capability to fire intercontinental ballistic missiles.

If North Korea acquires atmospheric reentry technology, it can target the mainland United States with nuclear-tipped ICBMs, he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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