Politics

U.S. Analysis Questions North Korean Claim To Have Tested Hydrogen Bomb

| by Jordan Smith
map showing where alleged H-bomb test took place in North Koreamap showing where alleged H-bomb test took place in North Korea

Analysis by the United States has raised doubts about whether the successful testing of a hydrogen bomb reported by North Korea Jan. 6 is credible.

On Jan. 6, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that nothing over the previous 24 hours had made the U.S. government change its security assessment of North Korea, Daily Mail reported.

“I can't give you a detailed assessment at this point,” Earnest said at the press conference, according to the Mail. “This is after all an event that just occurred 18 hours ago or so.”

North Korean state media announced at 10:00 a.m. local time that a successful test of a miniaturized hydrogen bomb had been conducted. The test was a “perfect success,” according to a television anchor on state broadcaster KRT.

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It followed the signing of an order by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un Dec. 15 that authorized the test to proceed.

“We have now joined the rank of advanced nuclear states,” a statement broadcast on KRT said.

But the South Korean spy agency said the tremor caused by the explosion was much less than what would have been expected from even a failed hydrogen bomb test, the Associated Press notes.

“We’re obviously going to continue to look at this by monitoring the situation,” Earnest added, according to the Mail. “[T]he initial analysis is not consistent with the claims that the regime has made.”

World leaders condemned North Korea’s action. South Korean President Park Jeun-hye said the test was a “grave provocation” and ordered the country’s armed forces to strengthen its defense posture with the U.S. military.

“We absolutely cannot allow this,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, according to the AP.

A United Nations Security Council meeting was held, and all 15 participants agreed to prepare new sanctions against North Korea.

“A clear threat to international peace and security continues to exist,” the U.N.'s statement read.

Even China, one of North Korea’s closest allies, expressed opposition to the test.

Within the United States, leading Republicans such as presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida criticized the Obama administration, saying he felt the President had done too little to prevent North Korean nuclear activity, the Mail reports.

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton also expressed her concern over the test.

“North Korea must have no doubt that we will take whatever steps are necessary to defend ourselves and our treaty allies, South Korea and Japan,” the former Secretary of State said, according to the Mail.

Sources: Daily Mail, Associated Press via CBC / Photo credit:Mapbox Streets/USGS via The Canadian Press, CNN