North Korea possibly carried out another nuclear test

Saul Bowman
September 3, 2017

A shallow, 6.3 magnitude natural disaster shook North Korea on Sunday, hours after the rogue state said it had developed an advanced hydrogen bomb that possesses "great destructive power".

North Korea staged its sixth nuclear test earlier in the day, later claiming complete success.

Mr Trump tweeted that North Korea "has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success".

A hydrogen bomb, or fusion bomb, is far more powerful than atomic bombs, or fission bombs, that the country has already tested.

North Korea further raised regional tensions on Tuesday by launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, drawing global condemnation.

The Central Committee the WPK extended warm congratulations to the scientists and technicians in the nuclear field in the northern nuclear test ground on their successful H-bomb test for ICBM.

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 US military facilities, and more ballistic missile tests targeting the Pacific.

Kim, according to the statement, claimed that "all components of the H-bomb were homemade ... thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants". It's further considering deployment of new US weapons on the Korean peninsula, as part of a long-standing U.S.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul says in a statement South Korea's military has strengthened monitoring and readiness and is mulling a variety of possible responses that could be pushed together with its ally the U.S.

It says it detected a seismic wave from 12:34 12:36 p.m. around Punggyeri, North Korea.

Previous recent tremors in North Korea have been caused by nuclear tests.

Five minutes later the same seismologists detected a magnitude 4.6 quake, which indicated the likely collapse of a tunnel in which the nuclear device was placed. Reports have suggested that Pyongyang could soon carry out a sixth nuclear test, but the respected 38 North website said last week that satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri test site showed no evidence that a blast was imminent.

Hours earlier, the regime released footage of what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb that would be loaded on to a new ICBM.

Japan's foreign minister Taro Kono told reporters that the Japanese government has lodged a formal protest to the North Korean embassy in Beijing, calling any test "extremely unforgivable".

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the military had "detected a man-made natural disaster near Punggye-ri and is analyzing whether it was a nuclear test".

Park Soo-hyun, the spokesman for Seoul's presidential office, said the leaders had reached an agreement in principle to loosen - "to the extent hoped by the South Korean side" - limits on the South's ballistic missile capability.

In Washington, there was no immediate reaction from the White House or the State Department.

Signed with the U.S. in 2001 - the year South Korea joined the MissileTechnology Control Regime (MTCR) - the agreement initially limited Seoul to rockets with a range of just 300km, due to USA concerns about triggering a regional arms race in Northeast Asia. The explosion, like the one before it in 2006, is done underground.

But the choices for neighbors in the region and for the United States, which hosts some 28,000 forces in South Korea as part of a decades-old alliance, are lousy.

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