North Korea Brandishes What It Says Is A Missile-Ready H-Bomb

North Korea Brandishes What It Says Is A Missile-Ready H-Bomb

North Korea Brandishes What It Says Is A Missile-Ready H-Bomb

The U.S. State Department had no immediate reaction. The Chinese government also put the size of the tremor at magnitude 6.3.

South Korea said it was seeking "the toughest retaliation measures" after the North tested another nuclear weapon, a national security official said. National Security Director Chung Eui-yong said Mr Moon will seek every available measure, including new United Nations sanctions or the deployment of more USA military assets, to further isolate Pyongyang. The outstanding nations are China, Egypt, North Korea, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.

"The President of the Republic calls on the members of the United Nations Security Council to quickly react to this new violation by North Korea of worldwide law", he said in a statement published by his office.

Michael Spavor, director of the Paektu Cultural Exchange, which promotes business and cultural ties with North Korea, said he was eating brunch when he felt the building shake for about five seconds, followed by city air raid sirens.

There's speculation that such a test could come on or around the September 9 anniversary of North Korea's national founding, something it did a year ago. "And I think what it shows is that Kim Jong Un is extremely confident that he can provoke and push across the board without risking the kind of sweeping retaliation that would inflict enough pain upon him and his system that would force him to change his tactics".

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While Moon's approach to North Korea hardens, talk of bringing US's tactical nuclear weapons back into South Korea has reemerged, which has always been championed by the conservatives.

The two leaders pledged to continue to apply strong diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea and to make all necessary preparations to defend against the growing threat by the North, the White House said.

North Korea's claim that "this warhead is variable-yield and capable of specialized weapons effects implies a complex nuclear strategy".

Questions remain over whether nuclear-armed Pyongyang has successfully miniaturised its weapons, and whether it has a working H-bomb, but KCNA said that leader Kim Jong-Un had inspected such a device at the Nuclear Weapons Institute. "Thermonuclear weapons are more destructive, but their use can be deterred with the same actions as smaller warheads", said Adam Mount, a North Korea expert and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

North Korea's state-run television broadcast a special bulletin on Sunday afternoon to announce the test.

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"If confirmed as a nuclear test, this act would indicate that the DPRK's nuclear program is advancing rapidly", the CTBT's Secretary General Lassina Zerbo said. "They say these type of weapons will prevent a war". Last month, North Korea fired a potentially nuclear-capable mid-range missile over northern Japan.

The North carried out its first nuclear test in 2006, and successive blasts are believed to have been aimed at refining designs and reliability as well as increasing yield.

Analysts have said for months that another nuclear test was likely on the way, with satellite imagery revealing that a new tunnel had been dug earlier this year.

It flew a Hwasong-12 over northern Japan last week, the first such overflight by a missile capable of carrying nukes, in a launch Kim described as a "meaningful prelude" to containing Guam, the home of major USA military facilities, and more ballistic missile tests targeting the Pacific. "It now seems to have chose to end that restraint", said David Wright, the co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program.

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