The North Korean state news agency announced on January 6, 2016, that the reclusive country had carried out a hydrogen bomb test. Seismographs confirmed that an event of some kind had taken place in the area, but the detected magnitude—only 5.1, a measurement identical to one made during a North Korean fission bomb test in February 2013—led observers to doubt the claim.
The move from a fission bomb to a fusion device would represent a dramatic technological leap, as only the five original nuclear powers (the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, and China) were believed to possess such weapons.
If confirmed, the test would mark North Korea’s fourth successful detonation of a nuclear device, and the second since the ascent of Kim Jong-Un. Kim, who would be turning 33 on January 8, stated that the DPRK now had access to the “H-bomb of justice” in an address that was, perhaps, even more bombastic than the test itself.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon was among the international leaders to condemn the test, and an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was convened to discuss the issue.
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