North Korea claims ‘successful’ hydrogen bomb test
Pyongyang says it has successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test, hours after seismologists detected an artificial earthquake close to the country’s main atomic test site northeast of North Korea.
“The republic’s first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00 a.m. (0130 GMT) on January 6, 2016, based on the strategic determination of the Workers’ Party,” North Korea’s state-owned broadcaster, KCTV, reported on Wednesday.
“With the perfect success of our historic H-bomb, we have joined the rank of advanced nuclear states,” it added, noting that the test was of a “miniaturized” device.
North Korea’s state news agency later stressed in a statement that Pyongyang will continue to build up its nuclear program as deterrence against potential aggression from the United States.
The statement further underscored that North Korea will act as a responsible nuclear state, and will use its nuclear armament only to defend its sovereignty. North Korea also vowed that it will not transfer its nuclear capabilities to other parties.
The hydrogen bomb test was apparently ordered by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un himself, and came just two days before his birthday.
The US Geological Survey had reported an artificial earthquake earlier on Wednesday, saying that the epicenter of the quake was some 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Kilju city, which serves as the seat of North Hamgyong Province, and next to the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.