Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Wednesday that North Korea’s nuclear test on Sunday may have generated an explosive yield of 160 kilotons of TNT, more than 10 times stronger than the U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945.
This represented the second upward revision by the Japanese government after it initially estimated the scale of the blast from the nuclear test at 70 kilotons. On Tuesday, a senior Defense Ministry official said that the output may have reached 120 kilotons.
The U.S. atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima is believed to have produced an yield of 15 kilotons.
“We can’t deny the possibility that North Korea might have tested a hydrogen bomb,” Onodera said.
“North Korea is surely upgrading its technologies for not only ballistic missiles but also nuclear weapons,” he said.
The government estimates the explosive yields of nuclear tests based on the magnitudes of earthquakes from the detonations measured by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).