North Korea says it has successfully carried out its fifth test of a nuclear device. The announcement on state media came hours after a huge seismic event was detected near its nuclear test site, BBC reports.

 

South Korea believes it is the North's biggest ever test, raising fears the state has made real nuclear advances. South Korean President Park Geun-hye called it an act of "self-destruction" which showed the "maniacal recklessness" of leader Kim Jong-un.

 

The North said the test had been of a "newly developed nuclear warhead" and that it was now capable of mounting a nuclear device on ballistic rockets.

 

South Korea's military has suggested that the explosive yield of this blast could be almost twice that of the previous nuclear test. Analysts have expressed fears this could mean the North is a step closer to having a useable nuclear weapon.

 

Photo: Geoeye

 

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