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North Korea Claims 'Perfect' Hydrogen Bomb Test

This morning, North Korea announced the successful detonation of its first hydrogen bomb.

Though the claim cannot yet be confirmed, if true, this would mark the reclusive nation's first nuclear test since 2013. According to the Guardian, the news broadcast cited North Korea's “legal right” to defend itself against the United States.

“The republic’s first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10am on January 6, 2016, based on the strategic determination of the Workers’ party,” the Guardian quoted a North Korean broadcaster as saying. “With the perfect success of our historic H-bomb, we have joined the rank of advanced nuclear states.”

Global earthquake networks first picked up a tremor between 4.9 and 5.2 on the Richter scale near Punggye-ri, the site of North Korea's three previous nuclear tests. The US Geological Survey charted a 5.1-magnitude earthquake at the site, Bloomberg reports, which South Korea later claimed was man-made.

In recent weeks, Kim Jong-un has boasted of his country's fast-developing technology, with the leader claiming in December that North Korea had perfected its own hydrogen bomb, reports the Guardian. Neighboring countries were skeptical, as the isolated country has a tendency to make such claims in order to gain a seat at the bargaining table.

North Korean media reported that Kim Jong-un signed the test order on January 3, and it went “perfectly”. While international response has been hesitant – neighboring countries are working to confirm whether the bomb test actually took place – Japan was the first to register its disapproval, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calling the test a threat to his country's security.

Most important, however, will be China's response; as North Korea's strongest ally, the nation's opinion carries a lot of weight. When North Korea completed its previous nuclear test in 2013, the reclusive country was met with a less-than-pleased response from China.

Meanwhile, South Korean president Park Geun-hye is convening a national security council meeting to discuss the incident, and the United Nations security council will meet on Wednesday morning at 11am ET to address the claims.

[Photo via Asian Correspondent]


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