N. Korea Claims Development of H-Bomb for ICBM

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated

"I was eating brunch just over the border here in Yanji when we felt the whole building shake", Michael Spavor, director of the Paektu Cultural Exchange, which promotes business and cultural ties with North Korea.

"That scale is to the level where anyone can say a hydrogen bomb test".

North Korean TV says the country has successfully conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb that is meant to be loaded into an intercontinental ballistic missile.

According to the USGS, the seismic activity - which the scientific agency has not identified as an natural disaster per se - occurred 24 kilometers east northeast of Sungjibaegam, North Korea.

Trump tweets that North Korea "has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success".

"After analyzing data provided by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the Japanese government concluded that North Korea has conducted a nuclear test", Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said in a live television broadcast.

The natural disaster was felt in northern China in Yanji, near the North Korean border, according to local media. That would be 3:30 p.m.in Seoul and Tokyo, and 2:30 a.m. EDT.

But South Korean officials gave a more modest estimation, saying that Sunday's bomb had a yield of 50 kilotons.

Hours before the test, North Korea's state news agency KCNA had released pictures showing Kim Jong Un inspecting a silver-coloured, hourglass-shaped warhead during a visit to the country's nuclear weapons institute, accompanied by scientists.

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While the type of bomb used and its size have not been independently verified, if true, the pariah state is a significant step closer to being able to fire a nuclear warhead to the USA mainland, as it has repeatedly threatened it could if provoked. A statement on the administration's website said the second quake, measured again at a depth of zero kilometres, came eight minutes after the first quake. That was revised up from an initial report of 5.6.

Japan has confirmed that North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test and has lodged a formal protest with Pyongyang.

The United States Geological Survey detected an "explosion" with a magnitude of 6.3.

The bomb can be loaded on a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Impoverished North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. South Korea's military said it has strengthened its monitoring and readiness while mulling a variety of possible responses that could be executed in collaboration with the U.S.

North Korea has repeatedly claimed perfection of hydrogen bomb technology, producing weapons that employ a more powerful fusion reaction, as opposed to the usual fission reaction of North Korea's more primitive nuclear weapons. When news first broke of the seismic activity, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the seismic activity was artificial. The administration also reported another quake in North Korea of magnitude 4.6, which it termed as a "collapse".

In 2015, the allies completed the drawing of a new operational plan, OPCON 5015, which calls for a pre-emptive strike on the North's nuclear and missile facilities as well as "decapitation" raids targeting its leadership. That test was one of two tests conducted past year.

Under its leader, North Korea has pursued work on building nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles that can deliver them at an unprecedented pace, defying United Nations sanctions and global pressure.

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