Tokyo: North Korea lauded its sixth and strongest nuclear weapons (hydrogen bomb) test yet as a “complete success,” just hours after showing off photos of Kim Jong Un personally inspecting a supposed thermonuclear weapon.
Pacific Rim leaders rushed to condemn Pyongyang as the isolated nation boasted in an excited televised address that it developed a hydrogen bomb outfitted for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The U.S. Geological Survey detected the test through a 6.3-magnitude earthquake at around 12:30 p.m. local time, describing the seismic activity as an “explosion.” A second tremor, clocking in at a 4.1 magnitude, was recorded minutes later at the same location. Seismologists categorized it as a “collapse.”
Japan, which recently saw a North Korean missile sailing over its island, was one of the first countries to denounce the latest weapons stunt Sunday.
The rumbling caused by the test was felt along China’s border to North Korea and up the Russian coast.
The bomb was portrayed as part of North Korea’s stated program to build a nuclear arsenal capable of reaching the United States’ mainland.
In July, North Korea conducted a pair of ICBM tests for the first time — illustrative of the nation’s advancements in nuclear weapons and missiles since Kim took over from his father in 2011.
South Korea’s main spy agency believes their northern neighbors lack the technology to create miniaturized nuclear weapons for mounting on missiles.
There was also widespread skepticism when North Korea claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb this past summer. Many other nationals believe North Korea at best boasts a small number of rudimentary nuclear weapons.