North Korea said that it had developed a more advanced nuclear bomb with “great destructive power,” releasing photos of Kim Jong Un inspecting what his government described as a hydrogen bomb that could be attached to a missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.
North Korea’s official news agency, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNC) claimed on Sunday it has developed a hydrogen bomb which can be loaded into the country’s new intercontinental ballistic missile, a claim that, although unverified — will sharply increase tensions between the Pyongyang regime and the rest of the world.
It was a “thermonuclear weapon with super explosive power made by our own efforts and technology”, KCNA cited Kim him as saying, and “all components of the H-bomb were 100 per cent domestically made”.
Kim Jong Un personally signed off on the nuclear test, Ri Chun Hee, North Korea’s most famous news anchor, said in a special broadcast on Sunday afternoon.
The bomb was a two-stage weapon with a yield that analysts said could make it a “city buster.”
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It would be the hermit state’s first nuclear test in a year and its sixth since it began testing nukes in 2006.
The U.S Geological Survey on Sunday said it had recorded a 6.3 magnitude earthquake exactly at noon Sunday local time, near North Korea’s nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, in the county’s northeast region. The quake was felt in northern China, with emergency sirens blaring in Yanji, near the North Korean border, according to local media.
South Korean authorities said Sunday’s earthquake appeared to be artificial, consistent with a nuclear test. Japan’s Foreign Ministry said it has concluded that North Korea did conduct a nuclear test.
North Korea’s sixth nuclear test is the first since President Trump was inaugurated.
“This appears to be the biggest and most successful nuclear test by North Korea to date,” report BBC. “Initial estimates by the USGS that it reached magnitude 6.3, would make it an order of magnitude greater than we have ever seen before.”
According to reports,, North Korea’s recent nuclear tests have happened exactly on the hour, often on meaningful dates for North Korea or the United States. It is a holiday weekend in the United States, which marks Labor Day on Monday.
The recent nuclear test by the North Koreans, according to The Washington Post, would be highly inflammatory for the United States and China, as well as North Korea’s other neighbors.
The paper report that China has expressed annoyance at North Korea’s frequent ballistic missile launches, but analysts have said China probably would not take serious action — unless there is another nuclear test.
Sunday’s events could also change the equation for Washington. Trump has been warning the Kim regime not to test him, warning on Twitter that the American military was “locked and loaded.”
On Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his view on the tensions in the Korean Peninsula, warning that the U.S. and North Korea were “on the brink of a large-scale conflict.”
Putin penned a statement published on the Kremlin’s website on Friday, ahead of a summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations in China next week.
“I have to say a few words about the situation on the Korean Peninsula, where tensions have grown recently and the situation is balancing on the brink of a large-scale conflict,” he wrote.