China blocks access to ‘sacred’ mountain near North Korea

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF UPI AND FROM ANDY  TAI’S GOOGLE PLUS BLOG)

 

China blocks access to ‘sacred’ mountain near North Korea

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Sept. 14, 2017 at 11:13 AM

China has blocked parts of a national park built around Changbaishan, or Mount Paektu, in Jilin Province, following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

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Sept. 14 (UPI) — Public access to the Changbaishan National Nature Reserve in China, also known as Mount Paektu in North Korea, has been partly blocked out of safety concerns, according to a South Korean newspaper.

Donga Ilbo reported Thursday that Chinese authorities have temporarily closed parts of the national park in northeastern Jilin Province amid rising fears in the region about radioactive contamination, following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3.

The area that is no longer accessible to the public is located about 70 miles from Punggye-ri, the North Korean nuclear site where Pyongyang recently detonated a bomb that may have released as much as 250 kilotons of energy, according to U.S. experts.

The announcement on the shutdown was posted to Weibo — the Chinese social network that most closely resembles Twitter — on Thursday.

“For the safety and convenience of travelers, we have temporarily closed the southern tourist zone of Changbai Mountain,” authorities said. “Officials are thoroughly investigating the safety of the tourist area.”

Chinese authorities also said the area will remain closed until “the potential risks disappear.”

Falling rocks have been causing problems but the northern and western zones of the national park are to remain open, they added.

Chinese commenters said online they fear the worst, following the test.

China had been repairing facilities around Changbai Mountain for four years, and commenters said it is unfortunate the park must close because of North Korea’s provocation.

Speculation is rising in China whether falling rocks at the mountain are the result of the test, according to the Donga.

Commenters said the Chinese government was blocking reply messages to the announcement.

The Changbaishan National Nature Reserve is considered the official birthplace of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

The mountain sits on the border between North Korea and China and is accessible from both sides.

North Korea Fires Another Ballistic Missile Over Japan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

(CNN) North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan for the second time in less than a month, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday.

The unidentified ballistic missile was launched from the district of Sunan in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, home to the country’s main airport, the South Korean military said.
The missile flew about 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) and reached an altitude of 770 kilometers (480) miles. It landed in the Pacific Ocean, South Korea said.
The US Pacific Command said its initial assessment indicated that North Korea had fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile. There were conflicting reports from Japan on the type of missile fired, though the government stressed that analysis was ongoing.

The weapon that makes N. Korea more dangerous

The weapon that makes N. Korea more dangerous
A government warning, known as the J-Alert, said that “a missile” had passed over Hokkaido, northern Japan, before landing in the Pacific, NHK reported. “The government is advising people to stay away from anything that could be missile debris,” the broadcaster said.
Japan’s Coast Guard said no damage has been reported by the fallen object.
At a hastily convened press conference, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the launch an “excessive provocation.” The government was convening a National Security Council Meeting at the Prime Minister’s office, the country’s Defense Ministry said.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in also held a National Security meeting following the launch, according to an official at his office.
North Korea’s last missile test, on August 29, was also fired from near the Pyongyang airport and overflew northern Japan.
US President Donald Trump has been briefed on the launch. When asked by a pool reporter about the launch Thursday evening Washington time at a dinner reception, Trump did not comment.

First launch since nuclear test

The launch came just hours after the rogue nation responded to the United Nations Security Council’s unanimous approval of additional sanctions by threatening to “sink” Japan and reduce the US mainland into “ash and darkness.”
Those sanctions were prompted by North Korea’s sixth nuclear test that occurred on September 3, which Pyongyang said was a successful test of a hydrogen bomb.
That explosion created a magnitude-6.3 tremor, making it the most powerful weapon Pyongyang has ever tested.
The nuclear test prompted discussions inside South Korea about the the redeployment of US tactical nuclear weapons in the country, an idea that the majority of the country’s citizens approve of, according to recent polls.
But on Thursday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in dismissed the possibility, warning it could “lead to a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia.”
“We need to develop our military capabilities in the face of North Korea’s nuclear advancement,” he told CNN in his first televised interview since North Korea’s sixth nuclear test. “I do not agree that South Korea needs to develop our own nuclear weapons or relocate tactical nuclear weapons in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threat. To respond to North Korea by having our own nuclear weapons will not maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula and could lead to a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia.”
South Korea has been conducting its own military drills since the September 3 nuclear test. As the missile was launched Friday, the South Korean military was carrying out its own live-fire drill that involved launching a ballistic missile.
A rapid pace
2017 has been a year of rapid progress for North Korea’s missile program.
Less than six years into his reign, Kim Jong Un has tested more missiles than his father and grandfather combined. And this year has been no exception.
Prior to its most recent launch, the country has fired 21 missiles during 14 tests since February, further perfecting its technology with each launch.
There’s also a political aspect to the tests, analysts say.
“The North Koreans were especially defiant by firing this missile over Japan,” said Gordon Chang, the author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea takes on the World.”
“Basically, the North Koreans are saying we can’t be stopped, don’t even try to stop us,” he said.

Peaceful pressure

Moon’s strategy toward North Korea has drawn the wrath of US President Donald Trump, who accused the South Koreans of “appeasement” of their northern neighbors following the nuclear test.
WHY NORTH KOREA WANTS NUKES AND MISSILES

North Korea has long maintained it wants nuclear weapons and long-range missiles to deter the United States from attempting to overthrow the regime of Kim Jong Un.

Pyongyang looks at states such as Iraq — where Saddam Hussein was overthrown by the United States, and Libya — its late leader, Moammar Gadhafi, gave up his nuclear ambitions for sanctions relief and aid, only to be toppled and killed after the United States intervened in his country’s civil unrest — and believes that only being able to threaten the US mainland with a retaliatory nuclear strike can stop American military intervention.

Many experts say they believe North Korea would not use the weapons first. Kim values his regime’s survival above all else and knows the use of a nuclear weapon would start a war he could not win, analysts say.

The White House has been pursuing a strategy of what it calls “peaceful pressure” in dealing with North Korea — trying to build a global coalition to squeeze North Korea’s revenue and isolate it diplomatically so it will eventually put its missiles on the negotiating table.
China has been key to that strategy, as Beijing accounts for nearly 90% of all of North Korea’s imports, according to recent data from the United Nations.
Hours before the launch, Trump touted his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and their collaboration in addressing North Korea’s rapidly escalating missile and nuclear programs.
“We have a very good relationship with China and with the President of China. We are working on different things,” Trump said. “I can’t tell you, obviously, what I’m working on. But believe me, the people of this country will be very, very safe.”
“I think that a lot of effort is being put into this,” he added.

North Korea Threatens to Use Nuclear Weapon to ‘Sink’ Japan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BLOOMBERG NEWS)  (IS IT WAY PAST TIME FOR THE WORLD LEADERS TO EXECUTE KJU?)(trs)

 

North Korea Threatens to Use Nuclear Weapon to ‘Sink’ Japan

 
  • State media says ‘Japan is no longer needed to exist near us’
  • Japan government calls latest threat ‘extremely provocative’

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North Korea threatened to use a nuclear weapon against Japan, further escalating tensions in North Asia after being hit with fresh United Nations sanctions earlier this week.

“Japan is no longer needed to exist near us,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said on Thursday, citing a statement by the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee. “The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche,” it said, a reference to the regime’s ideology of self-reliance.

QuickTakeNorth Korea’s Nukes

Yoshihide Suga

Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the comments, which sent the Korean won lower, “extremely provocative.”

“If North Korea stays the course that it is on, it will increasingly become isolated from the world,” Suga told reporters on Thursday in Tokyo. “Through implementing the new United Nations Security Council resolution and related agreements, the international community as a whole needs to maximize pressure on North Korea so that it will change its policy.”

The latest UN sanctions follow North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month. In late August, the regime launched a ballistic missile over northern Japan in what it said was “muscle-flexing” to protest annual military drills between the U.S. and South Korea. Leader Kim Jong Un called it a “meaningful prelude” to containing Guam. North Korea previously threatened to launch rockets over Japan into the Pacific and toward the U.S. territory.

“A telling blow should be dealt to them who have not yet come to senses after the launch of our ICBM over the Japanese archipelago,” a spokesman for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee said in Thursday’s KCNA statement. The committee is an affiliate of the ruling Workers’ Party.

KCNA had previously described the rocket as an intermediate-range strategic ballistic missile.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the launch at the time, while U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated that “all options” were under consideration in responding to North Korea’s provocations.

Pyongyang Trip

The threat comes a day after a Japanese lawmaker said some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party were considering visiting Pyongyang for talks with North Korean leaders.

“In the LDP there are some people seeking dialogue,” independent lawmaker Antonio Inoki told reporters in Tokyo following a trip to the North Korean capital. “There’s a change in atmosphere at the moment” about the need for talks rather than pressure, he said.

The government in Tokyo had criticized Inoki’s visit, with Suga saying beforehand that all trips to North Korea by Japanese citizens are discouraged.

Abe has stressed the need for pressure on Kim via sanctions, as opposed to talks. He told the Nikkei newspaper this week that Japan was in agreement with the U.S. and South Korea that dialogue would only be possible when North Korea committed to complete and verifiable denuclearization.

Still, South Korea’s Unification Ministry is considering providing $8 million in humanitarian aid to North Korea through international organizations such as UNICEF, Yonhap News reported Thursday, citing the ministry.

If the aid is approved by the government it’d be the first time in two years that Seoul has provided such assistance to its northern neighbor. In 2015, the ministry sent 11.7 billion won ($10.3 million) through international bodies.

When South Korean President Moon Jae-in came into power in May he promised a new era of engagement with North Korea. But he’s turned more hawkish in recent weeks, seeking stronger warheads on ballistic missiles, stepping up military drills, and embracing a missile defense system he’d questioned.

North Korea also criticized Seoul for supporting the latest UN resolution.

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Kim Jong Un: Nuke-Wielding Madman or Astute Dictator?
Kim Jong Un: Nuke-Wielding Madman or Astute Dictator?

“The South Korean puppet forces are traitors and dogs of the U.S. as they call for harsher ‘sanctions’ on the fellow countrymen,” KCNA said. “The group of pro-American traitors should be severely punished and wiped out with fire attack so that they could no longer survive.”

— With assistance by Emi Nobuhiro, Kanga Kong, and Shin Shoji

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Here’s How North Korea Could Accidentally Trigger A Volcanic Super Eruption

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FORBES SCIENCE)

 

Science #WhoaScience

Here’s How North Korea Could Accidentally Trigger A Volcanic Super Eruption

 Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Scientific hypotheses are normally quite fun to try and gather evidence for. Einstein’s ground-breaking theories of relativity, for example, have been continuously backed up by the most extraordinary discoveries ever since they were first published near the start of the 20th Century.

In science, proving bad ideas wrong is a marvel, but confirming that your ideas are correct is arguably even more thrilling. There are exceptions to this though, and since North Korea is in the news a lot at the moment – in-between mentions of the Nazis and the President’s inability to look at the eclipse properly, that is – it’s worth taking a look at the Hermit Kingdom’s sleeping dragon: a volcano named Mount Paektu.

This picture taken on August 14, 2017 and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 15, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) inspecting the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) at an undisclosed location. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Located on the border of China and North Korea, it’s got one hell of a reputation. The current leader of North Korea is supposed to have summited the 2,744-metre (9,003-foot) stratovolcanic beast all by himself on foot, which seems about as unlikely as the story of the late Kim Jong-il being born there.

Putting aside its mythology, it’s currently causing concern among volcanologists. Its storied geological history – which we’ll get into in just a tad – is so violent that even the notoriously secretive North Korean government has enlisted the help of British researchers to poke around a bit.

The rare international scientific collaboration revealed that the magma chamber plumbing system beneath this mountain is far from dead; seismic imaging suggests that it has a fiery soul that’s tens of kilometres across and several kilometres deep. Someday, all that magma is going to burst forth at the surface. The key question here, as always, is when?

Well, bizarrely, thanks to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, it might be any day now. According to a separate studyconducted over the last couple of years, the country’s underground weapons tests are sending powerful pressure waves towards Paektu’s massive magma chamber. This pressure is essentially being transferred to the magma, and at a certain point, it could cause the rock surrounding the partly liquid doom to crack, and thereby trigger an eruption.

Farm/Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 3.0

Heaven’s Lake, at the top of Mount Paektu, seen here in winter.

Mathematics is a rather wonderful thing. It can predict with perfection when and where solar eclipses will happen, just as it can calculate how long it will take for Jupiter’s moon Io to be torn apart by the gas giant’s immense gravitational well. In this instance, it can also be used to work out how powerful an underground nuclear blast is required to push a magma chamber into a state of overpressure.

The most recent nuclear weapons tests, based on their seismic wave patterns, are around 5-5.6M on the moment magnitude scale, which – along with plenty of other evidence – suggests they are basic atomic weapons, with yields of around 10 kilotonnes of TNT. For comparison, the atomic weapon dropped on Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War had an explosive yield of just over twice that.

Although these pressure waves did indeed make their way towards Mount Paektu 116 kilometers away, they clearly weren’t enough to trigger an eruption. In order to send the magma chamber into overpressure, North Korea would need to detonate a hydrogen bomb at the same Punggye-ri subterranean test site. This more complex two-step device, one which uses a fission (splitting) reaction in a primary bomb component to compress a heavy hydrogen core (fusion) in a secondary component.

Even the most simplistic hydrogen bomb would create an earthquake registering as a 7.0M, and according to the study, this would be enough to trigger an eruption. If it did, then what would happen? Well, let’s take a look at the aforementioned history of Paektu.

All it could take is just one hydrogen bomb, and the world will hear the result. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Although there was a minor eruption back in 1903, back in the year 946, a true cataclysm occurred. Known as the Millennium Eruption, it unleashed 100 cubic kilometres of volcanic debris, smothered the surrounding landscape in pyroclastic flows, and unleashed 1,000 times more energy than the famous 1980 eruption at Mount St. Helens.

The eruption also flooded the regional skies with 45 million tonnes of sulphur aerosols, which plunged the area into darkness. Although it didn’t affect the climate as much as researchers expected, if it were to happen again today, many thousands of people would die, and millions more would see their agriculture collapse. In a country that is already vulnerable to food shortages, this could trigger an unprecedented famine – which, in turn, could trigger all kinds of chaos.

Who knows. Maybe the mathematical calculations are off, or maybe an eruption at Paektu would be more like the one at the turn of the 20th Century than the one that took place a thousand or so years ago.

The only way for this hypothesis to be proven is to see what happens when North Korea actually detonates a hydrogen bomb – a milestone that no other nation on Earth wants them to achieve.

Trump says ‘appeasement’ will not work after North Korea nuke test

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE PAKISTANI DAWN NEWSPAPER)

 

Japan government registers protest with N. Korean embassy in Bejing, calls test “extremely unforgivable”. — File
Japan government registers protest with N. Korean embassy in Bejing, calls test “extremely unforgivable”. — File

US President Donald Trump declared on Sunday that “appeasement with North Korea” will not work, after Pyongyang claimed it had successfully tested a missile-ready hydrogen bomb.

“North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test,” Trump said. “Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

His comments came hours after the US Geological Survey picked up a 6.3 magnitude “explosion” in North Korea, which Pyongyang confirmed was a nuclear test, its sixth.

Earlier, Japan confirmed that North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Sunday, registering a formal protest with Pyongyang after a major explosion at the isolated nation’s main test site.

“The government confirms that North Korea conducted a nuclear test after examining information from the weather agency and other information,” Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono told reporters.

He said the government registered a protest with the North Korean embassy in Beijing prior to the confirmation, calling any test “extremely unforgivable”.

“Today’s nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is an extremely regrettable act,” International Atomic Energy Agency head Yukiya Amano said in a statement.

“This new test, which follows the two tests last year and is the sixth since 2006, is in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community.”

Trump last month threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” if it continued to threaten the United States, but he refrained from direct threats in his latest tweets.

“South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” he said.

Earlier, South Korea’s military had expressed suspicion that North Korea had conducted its sixth nuclear test, after it detected a “strong earthquake.”

The strong tremor was felt hours after Pyongyang claimed that its leader has inspected a hydrogen bomb meant for a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

South Korea’s weather agency and the Joint Chief of Staff said an artificial 5.6 magnitude quake occurred at 12:29 pm local time, in Kilju, northern Hamgyong Province.

The US Geological Survey called the first quake an explosion with a magnitude 6.3.

Shortly after, Yonhap news agency said a second quake was detected with a magnitude 4.6 but South Korea’s weather agency denied another quake occurred.

There was no word from the military in Seoul about the possible second quake.

North Korea conducted its fifth test last year in September. In confirmed, the latest test would mark yet another big step forward in North Korean attempts to obtain a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching deep into the US mainland.

South Korea’s presidential office said it will hold a National Security Council meeting chaired by President Moon Jae-in.

Islamabad condemns Pyongyang’s actions

Pakistan on Sunday condemned the reported nuclear test by North Korea.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office said, “Pakistan has consistently maintained that DPRK should comply with the UN Security Council resolutions and asked all sides to refrain from provocative actions.

Pakistan urges all sides to display utmost restraint and return towards the path of peaceful negotiated settlement of the issue, it added.

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests last year and has since maintained a torrid pace in weapons tests, including flight-testing developmental intercontinental ballistic missiles and flying a powerful mid-range missile over Japan.

Photos released by the North Korean government on Sunday showed Kim talking with his lieutenants as he observed a silver, peanut-shaped device that was apparently the purported thermonuclear weapon destined for an ICBM.

What appeared to be the nose cone of a missile could also be seen near the alleged bomb in one picture, which could not be independently verified and which was taken without outside journalists present. Another photo showed a diagram on the wall behind Kim of a bomb mounted inside a cone.

Aside from the factuality of the North’s claim, the language in its statement seems a strong signal that Pyongyang will soon conduct its sixth nuclear weapon test, which is crucial if North Korean scientists are to fulfil the national goal of an arsenal of viable nuclear ICBMs that can reach the US mainland.

There’s speculation that such a test could come on or around the Sept. 9 anniversary of North Korea’s national founding, something it did last year.

As part of the North’s weapons work, Kim was said by his propaganda mavens to have made a visit to the Nuclear Weapons Institute and inspected a “homemade” H-bomb with “super explosive power” that “is adjustable from tens (of) kiloton to hundreds (of) kiloton.”

North Korea in July conducted its first ever ICBM tests, part of a stunning jump in progress for the country’s nuclear and missile program since Kim rose to power following his father’s death in late 2011.

The North followed its two tests of Hwasong-14 ICBMs, which, when perfected, could target large parts of the United States, by threatening to launch a salvo of its Hwasong-12 intermediate range missiles toward the US Pacific island territory of Guam in August.

It flew a Hwasong-12 over northern Japan last week, the first such overflight by a missile capable of carrying nukes, in a launch Kim described as a “meaningful prelude” to containing Guam, the home of major US military facilities, and more ballistic missile tests targeting the Pacific.

Vipin Narang, an MIT professor specialising in nuclear strategy, said it’s important to note that North Korea was only showing a mock-up of a two-stage thermonuclear device, or H-bomb.

“We won’t know what they have until they test it, and even then there may be a great deal of uncertainty depending on the yield and seismic signature and any isotopes we can detect after a test,” he said.

To back up its claims to nuclear mastery, such tests are vital. The first of its two atomic tests last year involved what Pyongyang claimed was a sophisticated hydrogen bomb; the second it said was its most powerful atomic detonation ever.

It is almost impossible to independently confirm North Korean statements about its highly secret weapons program. South Korean government officials said the estimated explosive yield of last year’s first test was much smaller than what even a failed hydrogen bomb detonation would produce.

There was speculation that North Korea might have detonated a boosted fission bomb, a weapon considered halfway between an atomic bomb and an H-bomb.

It is clear, however, that each new missile and nuclear test gives the North invaluable information that allows big jumps in capability.

A key question is how far North Korea has gotten in efforts to consistently shrink down nuclear warheads so they can fit on long-range missiles.

“Though we cannot verify the claim, (North Korea) wants us to believe that it can launch a thermonuclear strike now, if it is attacked. Importantly, (North Korea) will also want to test this warhead, probably at a larger yield, to demonstrate this capability,” said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress.

North Korea is thought to have a growing arsenal of nuclear bombs and has spent decades trying to perfect a multistage, long-range missile to eventually carry smaller versions of those bombs.

South Korea’s main spy agency has previously asserted that it does not think Pyongyang currently has the ability to develop miniaturised nuclear weapons that can be mounted on long-range ballistic missiles. Some experts, however, think the North may have mastered this technology.

The White House said that President Donald Trump spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan regarding “ongoing efforts to maximize pressure on North Korea.”

The statement did not say whether the conversation came before or after the North’s latest claim.

A long line of US presidents has failed to check North Korea’s persistent pursuit of missiles and nuclear weapons. Six-nation negotiations on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear program in exchange for aid fell apart in early 2009.

The North said in its statement Sunday that its H-bomb “is a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals.”

Kim, according to the statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, claimed that “all components of the H-bomb were homemade … thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants.”

In what could be read as a veiled warning of more nuclear tests, Kim underlined the need for scientists to “dynamically conduct the campaign for successfully concluding the final-stage research and development for perfecting the state nuclear force” and “set forth tasks to be fulfilled in the research into nukes.”

The two Koreas have shared the world’s most heavily fortified border since their war in the early 1950s ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

About 28,500 American troops are deployed in South Korea as deterrence against North Korea.

North Korea: Kim Jong Un Observes Missile-Ready Hydrogen Bomb

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

North Korea: Kim Jong Un observes missile-ready hydrogen bomb

Story highlights

  • State media: Kim Jong Un visits the country’s Nuclear Weapons Institute
  • The hydrogen bomb claim cannot be independently verified

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)North Korea’s regime has “succeeded in making a more developed nuke,” according to the country’s state news agency.

The Korean Central News Agency described it as a “nuke” in its English-language report, but called it a “thermonuclear hydrogen bomb” in the Korean version.
During a visit to the country’s Nuclear Weapons Institute, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “watched an H-bomb to be loaded into new ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile),” KCNA reported.
There was no independent confirmation of the claims.
“The H-bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens kiloton to hundreds kiloton, is a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals,” KCNA reported in English.
This week, North Korea launched an intermediate-range missile, identified by the North Koreans as the Hwasong-12. The missile flew over Japan, further exacerbating tensions between North Korea and the United States and its allies, Japan and South Korea.
North Korea has been test-firing missiles at a rapid pace all year. With each launch, experts say Pyongyang can further refine and perfect its missile technology.