Kim Jong-un has announced that North Korea have “successfully” tested a hydrogen bomb (H-bomb) on Wednesday, which was confirmed as a magnitude 5.1 earthquake was detected next to the nuclear test site.
The nuclear test was announced in a special televised statement by Central TV where Pyongyang claimed, “The republic’s first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00 am on January 6, 2016, based on the strategic determination of the Workers’ Party”.
The South Korean weather agency said the tremor, felt 12 miles ENE of Sungjibaegam, was “artificial” – confirming that the blast was real.
The test comes just one month after Kim Jong-un announced to the world that North Korea had developed it’s first hydrogen bomb, and said that the country wouldn’t hesitate to detonate the bomb in order “to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation thanks to tireless efforts by [his] late grandfather Kim Il-sung“.
ABC News reports:
“U.S. Forces Korea is aware of reports on North Korea’s nuclear test today,” said a U.S. Pacific Command spokesman. “We remain vigilant and are fully committed to working closely with our Republic of Korea ally to maintain security on the peninsula.”
The site of Tuesday’s quake is about 5 miles from the Punggye-ri nuclear site where a test was conducted in 2013.
A quake measured at the site at that time registered the same magnitude. It was later deemed to be a nuclear explosion.
U.S. officials said that they will send up specially equipped “sniffer” planes to determine whether a nuclear test was conducted and if so, what type of test was done.
One official said the US doesn’t believe that North Korea has the capability for a hydrogen bomb but can’t be certain until testing is conducted.