North Korea claims to have successfully tested Hydrogen Bomb
North Korea said it conducted a powerful hydrogen bomb test on Wednesday, a defiant and surprising move that, if confirmed, would be a huge jump in Pyongyang’s quest to improve its still-limited nuclear arsenal.
South Korea’s spy agency and outside nuclear experts cast strong doubt, however, saying the estimated explosive yield from North Korea’s fourth nuclear explosion was much smaller than what even a failed H-bomb detonation would produce.
The North said today it had conducted its first “successful” miniaturised hydrogen bomb test — a shock announcement that drew condemnation from its neighbours including its major ally China.
The news was broadcast on state television, which also showed a copy of Kim’s initial signed order dated December 15.
“Let’s begin the year of 2016 … with the thrilling sound of our first hydrogen bomb explosion, so that the whole world will look up to our socialist, nuclear-armed republic and the great Workers’ Party of Korea!” Kim wrote in a handwritten message next to his signature.
A hydrogen, or thermonuclear, bomb uses fusion in a chain reaction that results in a far more powerful explosion than the fission blast generated by uranium or plutonium alone.
North Korea was believed to be years from developing such a sophisticated device, and experts voiced scepticism that today’s test was indeed of a hydrogen bomb — saying the apparent yield was far too low.