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North Korea Says It Successfully Tested a Hydrogen Bomb

North Korean leader Kim gives field guidance at the Kim Jong Suk Pyongyang Textile Mill in this undated photo released by KCNA in Pyongyang

 

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake was detected in North Korea Wednesday morning. In a televised newscast later North Korea said it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. This development marks a stunning step forward in its nuclear development.

“A confirmed test would mark another big step toward Pyongyang’s goal of building a warhead that can be mounted on a missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, ” according to the Associated Press. “Pyongyang is thought to have a handful of crude nuclear weapons. The United States and its allies worry about North Korean nuclear tests because each new blast brings the country closer to perfecting its nuclear arsenal.”

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The United States Geological Survey reported a 5.1 magnitude quake that South Korea said was 49 km (30 miles) from the Punggye-ri site where the North has conducted nuclear tests in the past.
The US vowed to respond appropriately to North Korea’s provocations after the reclusive nation claimed that it had carried out a hydrogen bomb test. “We will continue to protect and defend our allies in the region, including the Republic of Korea, and will respond appropriately to any and all North Korean provocations, ” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

Several governments promised a firm response as tensions soared again in northeast Asia, many calling for further action by the United Nations against the hermit nation, which is already subject to heavy international sanctions.

“The effect on financial markets from this nuclear test is unlikely to be large, ” a joint statement said.

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