World Analysis | A timeline of North Korea’s five nuclear tests and how the U.S. has responded

05:01  15 april  2017
05:01  15 april  2017 Source:   MSN

The Latest: US comment terse on latest North Korea missile

  The Latest: US comment terse on latest North Korea missile The Latest on North Korea firing a missile from its east coast (all times local):___10:20 a.m.U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says "the United States has spoken enough about North Korea" in reaction to North Korea's latest missile launch.The State Department issued a terse statement from America's top diplomat acknowledging "yet another" launch and saying "We have no further comment."U.S. and South Korean officials said earlier that North Korea fired a ballistic missile into its eastern waters Wednesday.The launch came amid worries that the North might conduct banned nuclear or rocket tests ahead of the first summit between President Donald Trump and

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April 15 is the most important day on the North Korean calendar — it's the birthday of the founder of North Korea, officially known as the “Day of the Sun.”

State paper says China would protect a denuclearised North Korea

  State paper says China would protect a denuclearised North Korea <p>China would step up its protection of North Korea should the isolated state halt its nuclear programme, an editorial in a state-backed newspaper said on Thursday, as Beijing tries to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.</p>Pyongyang's continued nuclear and missile testing programme has prompted the United States to send a navy carrier group to near the Korean peninsula in a show of force aimed at detering more tests.

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This year, experts and analysts warn that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might use the day as an excuse for a dramatic show of force. As my colleague Anne Fifield reported:

Expectations remain high that North Korea will conduct another nuclear or missile test, or carry out some other incendiary act, to mark the most important day on its calendar: the anniversary Saturday of the birthday of Kim Il Sung, the country’s founder, and the current leader’s grandfather.

In recent days, the North Korean army has threatened to annihilate U.S. military bases in South Korea in response to what it called Trump’s “maniacal military provocations.” In response, the Trump administration warned that all options are on the table. The U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Korean Peninsula region. President Trump has tweeted that the United States will act against the country, with China or independently. It's gotten so contentious that China has publicly chastised both countries and asked them to chill.

State paper says China would protect a denuclearised North Korea

  State paper says China would protect a denuclearised North Korea <p>China would step up its protection of North Korea should the isolated state halt its nuclear programme, an editorial in a state-backed newspaper said on Thursday, as Beijing tries to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.</p>Pyongyang's continued nuclear and missile testing programme has prompted the United States to send a navy carrier group to near the Korean peninsula in a show of force aimed at detering more tests.

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As the world waits to see what — if anything — North Korea does, here's a look back at the country's five nuclear tests, and how the United States responded:

October 2006: Analysts determine that North Korea has conducted its first nuclear test. The first test produced an explosion of less than 1 kiloton, or the equivalent of about 1,000 tons of TNT. That is just a fraction of the size of the bombs dropped by the United States on Japan at World War II's end.

The U.S. considered this first test a failure. Even so, American officials pushed for tough sanctions, calling for a block on all imports of military equipment to North Korea. Eventually, the United Nations passed a less strenuous measure, specifically targeted to prevent North Korea from acquiring equipment that would help them expand their nuclear program or military.

May 2009: North Korea conducted its second nuclear weapons test. The test was conducted underground. At the time, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 4.7 seismic disturbance. National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper Jr. later estimated that the test produced an explosion of 2 kilotons.

Trump team braces for North Korea 'event'

  Trump team braces for North Korea 'event' President Trump hit the golf course Friday, as he and his aides braced for what North Korea calls a "big event," possibly some kind of nuclear test.&nbsp;WASHINGTON — President Trump hit the golf course Friday, as he and his aides braced for what North Korea calls a "big event," possibly some kind of nuclear test.

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President Obama called the test a “grave threat,” but military officials said this was a diplomatic, not military, matter. The United Nations imposed tighter sanctions on North Korea — now almost all arms imports were banned. They also called for intensified weapons inspections.

February 2013: Kim Jong Un, then newly in power, conducted his first nuclear test as leader. The test was far larger than earlier experiments. Experts estimate that the bomb was between 6 and 7 kilotons. The test coincided with South Korea's national elections and Obama's State of the Union.

In response, the U.S. moved some missile defense equipment and nuclear-capable stealth bombers to South Korea. Then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry warned that North Korea would lose in a military showdown with the U.S. Kim Jong Un “needs to understand, as I think he probably does, what the outcome of the conflict would be,” Kerry said. In the wake of the test, the United Nations voted to tighten sanctions against the country. The United Nations once against moved to tighten sanctions, extending their asset freeze to individuals and organizations helping Un. Luxury goods were put under sanctions and assets were frozen.

McCain: North Korea 'first real test' for Trump

  McCain: North Korea 'first real test' for Trump How President Trump responds to North Korea's push to develop a nuclear missile capable of striking the United States could be the "first real test" of his administration, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday.&nbsp;If North Korea were to fire a missile at the U.S., "we would have to rely on our ability to intercept it, and by the way, I'm told that we do have that ability," McCain told NBC's "Meet the Press.

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In reality though, by the time North Korea conducted its third test, there were few sanctions left to deploy. By 2013, North Korea's ability to import goods was severely limited. And Obama declined to take next steps, like a naval blockade to block all shipment of goods. China also continued to provide the country oil and aid.

January 2016: North Korea claimed to have conducted a fourth nuclear test, far underground. On state TV, Kim claimed that the explosion came from a miniaturized hydrogen bomb, and called it a “spectacular success.” Independent observers say they can't confirm that the test happened. If it did, its size is hard to measure. But they estimate that the explosive yield was between 4 and 6 kilotons.

In the months after, Congress passed a law empowering the administration to sanction individuals who import or expert goods and money to North Korea. The United Nations passed a resolution banning North Korea from “launches using ballistic missile technology.” The resolution also required all member states to “inspect cargo to/from the DPRK or brokered by the DPRK that is within or transiting their territories.”

Obama and America's allies in the Pacific continued work on THAAD, a missile defense shield. The president rejected a deal, offered by the North Korean regime, to take down the shield in exchange for promises that North Korea would conduct no more nuclear tests.

Ex-ambassador: Trump 'trying to out-North Korean the North Koreans'

  Ex-ambassador: Trump 'trying to out-North Korean the North Koreans' President Trump is "trying to out-North Korean the North Koreans," which "makes people nervous," former Ambassador Christopher Hill says."I think he's trying to out-North Korean the North Koreans, so let's see if that works," said Hill, who previously served in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations as ambassador to Macedonia, Poland, South Korea and Iraq.

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September 2016: North Korea conducts a fifth nuclear test. The seismic activity generated registered a 5.3 in magnitude, and was thought to have produced an explosion of about 10 kilotons. That's equivalent to the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and 10 times stronger than what the country was able to do a decade ago.

In response, Obama worked with the United Nations to tighten sanctions even further.

“The United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state. Far from achieving its stated national security and economic development,” he said. “We are going to work together to make sure we're closing loopholes and make them even more effective,” in a speech in South Korea. China, which has veto power over the U.N. Security Council, joined a resolutions strongly condemning the missile launch. It also agreed to ban the import of North Korean coal, a major blow to that country's economy.

Trump: Nuclear war ‘always’ a concern with North Korea .
"It's a very, very tricky situation," he said."Look, you always have to be concerned," he told CNN's Wisconsin affiliate WTMJ. "You don't know exactly who you're dealing with.

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