North Korea claims to have miniaturized nuclear warheads to fit on ballistic missiles, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.
The report comes after the country reported a successful test of what it said was a hydrogen bomb in February and as tensions on the peninsula remain high as joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises take place.
The Philippines said on Saturday it had seized a North Korean freighter that was covered by harsher United Nations’ sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear program.
Manila will also deport the vessel’s 21 North Korean crew and will await a U.N. inspection team from the United Nations, foreign ministry spokesman Charles Jose said in a text message.
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The United States deployed a B-52 bomber on a low-level flight over its ally South Korea on Sunday, a show of force following North Korea’s nuclear test last week.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un maintained that Wednesday’s test was of a hydrogen bomb and said it was a self-defensive step against a U.S. threat of nuclear war.
South Korea is willing to discuss North Korea’s demand for an end to sanctions imposed over a 2010 naval attack, the South said on Wednesday, a day after the rivals struck a landmark pact that defused a standoff between their forces.
South Korea is preparing to open a new channel of dialogue with the North after the Tuesday accord, in which North Korea expressed regret over a landmine incident that wounded South Korean soldiers and the South agreed to stop anti-North Korea propaganda being broadcast over border loudspeakers.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered front-line military units to enter “a wartime state” after an exchange of fire with South Korea, his country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Friday.
The announcement, employing bellicose language typical of North Korea, adds to the edgy situation in the region.