Seoul / AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered an upcoming nuclear warhead test and multiple ballistic missile launches, escalating Pyongyang’s face-off with the international community just days after being slapped with tough UN sanctions.
The order came after Kim monitored what was described as the successful simulated test of the warhead re-entry technology required for a long-range nuclear strike on the US mainland, the North’s official KCNA news agency said on Tuesday.
Military tensions have been soaring on the divided Korean peninsula since the North carried out its fourth nuclear test on January 6, followed a month later by a long-range rocket launch that was widely seen as a disguised ballistic missile test.
The UN Security Council responded earlier this month by imposing its toughest sanctions on North Korea to date.
Pyongyang, meanwhile, has maintained a daily barrage of nuclear strike threats against both Seoul and Washington, ostensibly over ongoing, large-scale South Korea-US military drills that the North sees as provocative rehearsals for invasion.