SEOUL: Looks like, North Korea has conducted a sixth nuclear test today, with seismic monitors measuring an “explosion” of 6.3 magnitude near its main test site, sending tensions over its weapons ambitions to new heights.
This development has come after there was media reports that North Korea have developed a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded into the country’s new intercontinental ballistic missile.
The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the seismic tremor was detected near the North’s Punggye-ri test site.
According to the experts, United States Geological Survey recorded the magnitude at 6.3 — larger than any previous test.
Jana Pursely, a USGS geophysicist said: “It’s an explosion rather than an earthquake.”
The significant factor to note of is that nuclear-armed Pyongyang has long sought the means to deliver an atomic warhead to the United States, its sworn enemy.
There are still hovering issues whether it has successfully miniaturised its weapons, and whether it has a working H-bomb, but the official Korean Central News Agency said before the quake that leader Kim Jong-Un had inspected such a device at the Nuclear Weapons Institute.
It was a “thermonuclear weapon with super explosive power made by our own efforts and technology”, KCNA cited Kim as saying, and “all components of the H-bomb were 100 percent domestically made”.
There are images depicting Kim in black suit taking a closer look at a metal casing, with a shape akin to a peanut shell.
North Korea triggered a new ramping up of tensions in July, when it carried out two successful tests of an ICBM, the Hwasong-14, which apparently brought much of the US mainland within range.
On an expected note, US President Donald Trump has warned Pyongyang that it faces “fire and fury”, and that Washington’s weapons are “locked and loaded”.
Trump spoke by telephone to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the need to “maximize pressure on North Korea” in the face of the “growing threat” it presented, according to a White House readout of the call, without specifying when it took place.