N. Korea threatens to sink Japan, reduce USA to ashes

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday called for strict enforcement of a United Nations resolution against North Korea over its latest nuclear test, saying the world must force a change in Pyongyang's policies.

While there are reports of Russian smugglers exporting oil and other sanctioned goods to North Korea, 90 percent of all North Korean trade goes through China. A variation of that warhead appears to have been used in the most recent test. Evidence suggests that this is a bomb meant for the destruction of an American city should a conflict occur.

Despite the tension, South Korea said it planned to provide US$8 million (S$10.8 million) through the UN World Food Programme and Unicef to help infants and pregnant women in the North. Japan, for example, gave an estimate of 160 kilotons, and South Korea's was as low as 50 kilotons.

On Wednesday, South Korea's Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said it had detected traces of radioactive xenon gas from the nuclear test. The North claiming to have detonated a hydrogen bomb that can be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The official said the move should not be perceived as breaking step with global efforts to build pressure on Pyongyang, but noted that the timing of the package would be based on "consideration of South-North relations as a whole".

A South Korean air force F-15K fighter jet releases a Taurus missile during a drill off the country's western coast, September 13, 2017.

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She added that the images from the North's nuclear test in 2016 did not show substantial change on the mountain's surface. The country is also developing solid-fuel missiles that could be fired from land mobile launchers or submarines.

On the other hand, Mattis has called the submarine-based component "sacrosanct" and also has said it is necessary to retain the ability to fire nuclear weapons from planes.

"This is in order to make the right conditions for dialogues and I would like to emphasize this", he said.

"The government's basic stance is that humanitarian assistance to those who are vulnerable in North Korea should be continued regardless of political considerations", the agency reported, citing Seoul's unification ministry, which aims to promote Korean reunification. Trump said on Twitter in response to the North's nuclear test.

Information for this article was contributed by Choe Sang-Hun of The New York Times and by Kim Tong-Hyung, Hyung-jin Kim and Robert Burns of The Associated Press. With the current missile inventory, it could also target larger areas.