N. Korea threatens to sink Japan, reduce U.S. to ashes

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South Korea confirmed on Wednesday that traces of radioactive xenon originating from North Korea's last nuclear test have been detected, but they can not confirm if the traces originate from the regime's hydrogen bomb.

"Japan is no longer needed to exist near us", the state-run Korean Central News Agency said on Thursday, citing a statement by the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

North Korea has threatened to sink Japan and reduce the U.S. to "ashes and darkness" for leading the latest UN Security Council sanctions imposed on the country.

-North Korea relations. In response, the United Nations Security Council voted to intensify sanctions, including imposing a limit on oil imports, against the hermit state.

New satellite images suggest that North Korea has resumed working at the secretive state's mountainous nuclear test site, despite new United Nations sanctions, according to a US -based watchdog.

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North Korea had categorically rejected the Security Council resolution, vowing to press ahead with its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of worldwide pressure.

This yield is close to what 38 North previously estimated to be the maximum containable yield for the test site in Punggye-ri, northeastern North Korea, it added.

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 North Korean statement also called for the breakup of the U.N. Security Council, calling it "a tool of evil" and comprised of "money-bribed" nations.

While the North is pursuing nuclear arms program in defiance of an inter-Korean denuclearization pact and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the South has remained nuclear-free since all American nukes were withdrawn in 1991. "South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!" The analysts gave no indication that a test appeared to be imminent. The latest test was said to have been a hydrogen bomb created to be mounted on a newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile that has "great destructive power", state media said following the announcement of the test. "If we respond to the situation with an attitude that we will counter a nuclear-armed North with a nuclear-armed South, peace can not be maintained between the two Koreas", Moon said.

The South Korean military said earlier in the day that it had successfully tested a new air-to-land "bunker buster" Taurus cruise missile, part of its effort to increase its ability to destroy key weapons sites and bunkers deep underground where the North's leaders might take refuge.

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