Dozens were killed when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's most powerful nuclear missile test yet caused buildings to collapse.

Houses and a school near his nuclear base at Punggye-ri were brought down when his tests caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake injuring up to 150 pupils in North Hamgyong Province.

His explosion triggered aftershocks within eight minutes, hitting structures in a nearby village, the Daily Mail reports.

News of the deaths emerged today after there were three more shocks following the underground test back in September, according to the Sunday Express.

The fatalities were revealed by a defector group called South and North Development.


The Kim regime is accused of not warning locals of the nuclear test as children were in classrooms as usual during the quake, which also hit nearby farms.

Soldiers suffering from radiation sickness are also flooding the country's hospitals after the test, according to reports.

The government instructed farmers affected to harvest crops rather than repair damage caused, according to a source.

"Farmers couldn't even think of repairing the damage because they're busy harvesting crops even though three months have passed since their houses were destroyed," the source said.

"Displaced farmers are staying in temporary shelters or living with neighbours whose houses sustained less damage."

Kim is preparing to attach miniature nuclear warheads to rockets that could reach US mainland within weeks, experts have claimed.

The one-party state is thought to be close to being recognised as a nuclear power despite researchers finding it conducted fewer missile tests in this year's final quarter.

But the rapidly increasing strength of North Korea's nuclear tests could mean its programme develops without detonations, according to Tetsuo Sawada, who is an assistant professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology.


Sawada says the country has reached new heights of nuclear technology which will allow it to develop weapons without tests.

He told Russian news agency TASS earlier this month: "North Korea is constantly upgrading its technology and has now reached a level where, in my estimation, it no longer needs to carry out nuclear detonations to test and develop the relevant weapons.

"Of course, this is my assumption, but it is based on the analysis of six tests conducted in that country.

"I believe the last test, the sixth one, was particularly successful. Authoritative experts estimate its power at 250 kilotonnes of TNT equivalent."