Nokor H-bomb test successful, says state TV

Jerome Frank
September 5, 2017

The response comes in the wake of the North's confirmation that it has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb of "unprecedented" strength meant to be loaded into an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The underground test, a major nose-thumb at Washington, Beijing and all of the North's neighbors, follows an intense few months that have seen Kim launching missiles at record clip and in ways that are much more provocative than usual.

The hydrogen bomb report by North Korea's official KCNA news agency comes amid heightened regional tension following Pyongyang's two tests of ICBMs in July that potentially could fly about 10,000 kilometres, putting many parts of the mainland USA within range.

On Friday, ahead of BRICS, Russian President Vladimir Putin described US tactics on North Korea as "misguided and futile", and said there must be dialogue between the US, South Korea and North Korea with no preconditions.

It's unclear if a new round of sanctions is in the works, but Japan and South Korea have both signaled they are in favor of applying more diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement that he "calls on the members of the United Nations Security Council to quickly react to this new violation by North Korea of global law".

The North has given the ultimate demonstration of its power by testing an H-bomb, Cha Du-Hyeogn of Asan Institute of Policy Studies said, and wanted the USA to believe its claims.

The USGS said a second, 4.1-magnitude seismic event occurred 22 kilometers northeast of Sungjibaegam.

Earlier on Sunday, photos released by the North Korean government showed Kim talking with his lieutenants as he observed a device that was apparently the thermonuclear weapon destined for an ICBM.

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The state-run Korean Central News Agency released pictures of Kim Jong Un visiting the country's Nuclear Weapons Institute where he inspected the purported device. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously voted to tighten sanctions that targeted about a third of North Korea's $3 billion in exports.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as it's officially known, claimed it set off a hydrogen bomb in its fifth nuclear test on September 9 of previous year. There is also scepticism about the North's claims to have developed a hydrogen bomb. Experts are not so sure, but as long as Pyongyang claims to have the technology, the working assumption is that it's true.

Let's head to South Korea's presidential office.

Tensions between North Korea and the worldwide community flared last week, when Pyongyang flew a ballistic missile for the first time over Japan. Even North Korea's very active missile program took nearly two decades from when it first began testing long-range rockets to having an apparently functional ICBM. The power of the blast, its location at the North's nuclear testing site and the shallow epicenter left little doubt. The U.S. and its allies attempt to detect blast material to gauge North Korea's progress, but Pyongyang has become better at containing it as its nuclear program has evolved.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's office reiterated the need for sanctions on North Korea in the wake of the test.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has no access to North Korea, called the nuclear test "an extremely regrettable act" that is "in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community".

The move on Sunday by North Korea is a direct challenge to Trump, who hours earlier had talked by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the "escalating" nuclear crisis in the region. "The critical thing is now is that the United States does not cause more damage with its reaction than the test did itself".

North Korea has stated it is, at least in part, responding to Washington's decision to hold the exercises, which ended last week.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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