European Union hardens measures against North Korea over weapons tests

Activity at North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

Japanese professional wrestler-turned-lawmaker Antonio Inoki, who has conducted sports diplomacy with North Korea since the 1990s, has urged Japan to do more to calm escalating tensions between the US and North Korea.

The pictures apparently show a fresh crater, which may have been caused by the portal used for the hydrogen bomb test caving in after detonation, although 38 North said it was impossible to be certain.

"Such activity, coming shortly after the largest underground nuclear test conducted at Punggye-ri to date (via the North Portal), suggests that onsite work could now be changing focus to further prepare those other portals for future underground nuclear testing", the watchdog noted in a blog post Tuesday. But the detected xenon-133 is a radioactive isotope that does not occur naturally and which has been linked to North Korea's nuclear tests in the past.

On the same day, South Korea announced it had conducted its first live-fire drill for an advanced air-launched cruise missile that would strengthen its pre-emptive strike capability against North Korea in the event of crisis.

There are in total four tunnel openings into four mountains at their Punggye-ri test site.

The 38 North website in the United States, which keeps satellite watch on North Korea, raised its estimate for the yield from the explosion to around 250 kilotons - more than 16 times the size of the device that devastated Hiroshima in 1945.

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Tremors from the quake are likely the cause of a possible "collapse chimney crater" at the site, the analysts added. The analysts gave no indication that a test appeared to be imminent.

"The proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to worldwide peace and security", the council said in a statement.

Juche is the North's ruling ideology that mixes Marxism and an extreme form of go-it-alone nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.

The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which handles Pyongyang's external ties and propaganda, also singled out Tokyo for "dancing to the tune" of the US-led resolution.

"My delegation condemns in the strongest terms and categorically rejects the latest illegal and unlawful U.N. Security Council resolution", said North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song.

The United States, South Korea and other governments have yet to confirm that the North tested such a weapon, but the September 3 test, the North's sixth, was by far its most powerful to date.

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