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north korea hydrogen bomb


North Korea claims that it has successfully tested a nuclear weapon that could be loaded onto a long-range missile.

Pyongyang said its sixth nuclear test was a “perfect success”, hours after seismologists had detected an earth tremor.

North Korea said it had tested a hydrogen bomb – a device many times more powerful than an atomic bomb.

Analysts say the claims should be treated with caution, but its nuclear capability is clearly advancing.

Pyonyang last carried out a nuclear test in September 2016. It has defied UN sanctions and international pressure to develop nuclear weapons and to test missiles which could potentially reach the mainland US.

Image source CNN

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According to South Korean officials, the latest test took place in Kilju County, where North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site is situated.

The “artificial quake” was 9.8 times more powerful than the tremor from North Korea’s fifth test, the state weather agency said.

It came hours after Pyongyang said it had miniaturized a hydrogen bomb for use on a long-range missile, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was pictured with what state media said was a new type of hydrogen bomb. State media said the device could be loaded on to a ballistic missile.

Initial reports from the US Geological Survey put the tremor at 5.6-magnitude with a depth of 6 miles but this was later upgraded to 6.3-magnitude at 0 miles. This would make it North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test to date.

Japan condemned the test and South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened emergency security council talks.

A series of recent missile tests has caused growing international unease.

In a report on September 3, North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said Kim Jong-un had visited scientists at the nuclear weapons institute and “guided the work for nuclear weaponization”.

The report said: “The institute recently succeeded in making a more developed nuke.”

“He (Kim Jong-un) watched an H-bomb to be loaded into a new ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile),” it added.

The report carried pictures of Kim Jong-un inspecting the device. It described the weapon as “a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes”.

International experts say North Korea has made advances in its nuclear weapons capabilities but it is unclear if it has successfully miniaturized a nuclear weapon it can load on to a missile.

North Korea has previously claimed to have miniaturized a nuclear weapon but experts have cast doubt on this. There is also skepticism about North Korea’s claims to have developed a hydrogen bomb, which is more powerful than an atomic bomb.

Hydrogen bombs use fusion – the merging of atoms – to unleash huge amounts of energy, whereas atomic bombs use nuclear fission, or the splitting of atoms.


South Korea has fired warning shots at a suspected North Korean drone flown across the DMZ.

Soldiers fired about 20 rounds before the craft turned back, Yonhap news agency said citing South Korean officials.

Earlier, South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye urged China to impose the strongest possible sanctions against North Korea, following its apparent nuclear test.

North Korea claims it has tested a hydrogen bomb.

That claim is doubted by experts, who say the blast, though probably nuclear, was not big enough to have been a thermonuclear explosion.

In her annual press conference, President Park Geun-hye said the international community’s response to North Korea “must differ from the past”, without giving details.

Park Geun-hye said new sanctions on Pyongyang must go further than before, with China’s support crucial. She also warned of possible further action by North Korea, including “cyber terrorism”.DMZ North Korean drone 2016

China, North Korea’s closest ally, has repeatedly condemned North Korea’s nuclear tests but is often accused of doing little to try and stop them.

Park Geun-hye stressed China’s past statements but added: “I am certain that China is very well aware if such a strong will isn’t followed by necessary steps, we will not be able to stop the North’s fifth and sixth nuclear tests and we cannot guarantee true peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.”

“I believe the Chinese government will not allow the situation on the Korean peninsula to deteriorate further.”

Last week Secretary of State John Kerry also urged China to take a tougher line, telling his Chinese counterpart the relationship with North Korea cannot be “business as usual”.

President Park Geun-hye also spoke about the steps South Korea was taking with the US to “neutralize North Korea’s provocative actions” including additional deployments of American military assets on the Korean peninsula.

Answering a question about whether Seoul would consider ending its involvement in the jointly-run Kaesong industrial zone, just north of the border, Park Geun-hye said its future depended on Pyongyang’s actions.

Seoul has already limited access to Kaesong from South Korea, to only those directly involved in its operations.