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Onodera says North Korea may have capability to be recognized as nuclear power

NHK’s “Nichiyo Toron” Sunday debate show aired an interview with Defense Minister Onodera, during which he commented on North Korea’s sixth nuclear test conducted on Sept. 3 by saying: “The nuclear test by North Korea could have involved a hydrogen bomb because it may have generated an explosive yield of 160 kilotons of TNT. The country’s technology appears to be improving steadily. This poses a serious threat, and the North may have the capability to be recognized as a nuclear power. If Pyongyang’s ultimate goal is to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, it may be planning to test an ICBM next. We are on constant alert because the next missile may fly over Japan.” When asked for his view on President Trump’s position of not ruling out military action, the defense minister stated that Japan will carefully study how to respond to whatever option Washington decides to take.

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