N. Korea’s Kim warns of impending nuclear and rocket tests

March 14, 2016
(Yonhap)

(Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — North Korea said Tuesday it plans to conduct nuclear warhead and ballistic missile tests “soon,” continuing its provocations since testing what it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb on Jan. 6.

“Kim Jong Un … gave orders of conducting a test for estimating the heat stability of rocket warhead tip, designed and manufactured with domestic efforts and technology, and the erosion of heat-resistant coating material,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in an English report.

“Declaring that a nuclear warhead explosion test and a test-fire of several kinds of ballistic rockets able to carry nuclear warheads will be conducted in a short time to further enhance the reliance of nuclear attack capability, he instructed the relevant section to make prearrangement for them to the last detail,” it added.

Tensions have been escalating on the Korean Peninsula since North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test. Last month, the North also launched a rocket carrying the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite into space, which was viewed by many as a cover for testing its intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

Amid the conflict, Seoul and Washington kicked off the annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises for a weekslong run last week in South Korea, mobilizing some 300,000 local troops, along with 17,000 U.S. forces.

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