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Sunday, September 3, 2017

North Korea apparently conducts another nuclear test, South Korea says



North Korea said that it had developed a more advanced nuclear bomb with “great destructive power,” releasing photos of Kim Jong Un inspecting what his government described as a hydrogen bomb that could be attached to a missile capable of reaching the mainland United States. 

North Korea appears to have conducted another nuclear test, the South Korean government said Sunday after seismic authorities detected an artificial earthquake near Pyongyang regime’s known nuclear test site.


This would be North Korea’s sixth nuclear test, and the first since President Trump was inaugurated. The action probably will increase already high tensions between the Trump administration and Kim Jong Un’s regime.

The U.S Geological Survey said it had recorded a 6.3 magnitude earthquake exactly at noon Sunday local time, near North Korea’s known nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, in the county’s northeast region. The quake was felt in northern China, with emergency sirens blaring in Yanji, near the North Korean border, according to local media.

North Korea’s recent nuclear tests have also happened exactly on the hour, often on meaningful dates for North Korea or the United States. It is a holiday weekend in the United States, which marks Labor Day on Monday.

A North Korean nuclear test in September of last year registered as a 5.3-magnitude earthquake at 9 a.m. on a national holiday marking the 68th anniversary of the formation of the communist regime by Kim Il Sung, the current leader’s grandfather.

South Korean authorities said Sunday’s earthquake appeared to be artificial, consistent with a nuclear test.

President Moon Jae-in immediately called an emergency meeting of his national security council, and the chairman of his Joint Chiefs of Staff put the South Korean military on alert.


In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he “would not tolerate” another nuclear test.

Analysts had been expecting another nuclear test after North Korea said earlier on Sunday that it had developed a more advanced nuclear bomb with “great destructive power.” But they weren’t expecting it so soon after the announcement.

On Sunday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency released photos of Kim Jong Un inspecting what his government described as a hydrogen bomb that could be attached to a missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.

All the components of the “H-bomb” were “homemade” so North Korea could produce “powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim as saying.


North Korea’s latest claim on a hydrogen bomb could not be verified. Although it claimed that a nuclear test in January last year was of a hydrogen bomb, experts said the seismic waves generated were consistent with an ordinary nuclear device, not a thermonuclear one.

A sixth nuclear test by the North Koreans would be highly inflammatory for the United States and China, as well as North Korea’s other neighbors.

China has expressed annoyance at North Korea’s frequent ballistic missile launches, but analysts have said China probably would not take serious action — unless there is another nuclear test.


Sunday’s events could also change the equation for Washington. Trump has been warning the Kim regime not to test him, warning on Twitter that the American military was “locked and loaded.”

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