North Korea Conducts Underground Nuclear Test, Says It Has Successfully Detonated A Hydrogen Bomb

Contribution from Bella Legosi

Satellite image of Punggye-ni Nuclear Test Facility in North Korea collected on February 13, 2013. (Photo via Getty Images)

Satellite image of Punggye-ni Nuclear Test Facility in North Korea collected on February 13, 2013. (Photo via Getty Images)

An artificial earthquake was detected inside North Korea Tuesday.  The 5.1 quake was soon explained as a nuclear detonation 10 kilometers down in the earth.  It was centered 19 kilometers from Sungjibaegam, thought to have originated near the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility where a similar 4.9 quake occurred during North Korea’s last successful atomic weapon test in 2013 of a fission bomb.

Korean Central News Agency declared that today’s test was in fact a successful hydrogen detonation.  According to KCNA, North Korea has “confidently risen to the ranks of nuclear powers with hydrogen bombs by perfectly succeeding in the historic test of a hydrogen bomb,” and that this test was in self defense of North Korea’s “enemies”.

Japan quickly voiced concern and reminded that this current act is in defiance of the non-nuclear proliferation and also a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, which has prompted a meeting of the UN Security Council for this Wednesday.

Further condemnation came from the United States of America.

“North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006 and, until today, has done so twice since, but we have consistently made clear that we will not accept it as a nuclear state,” National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in the statement.

South Korean President Park Geun Hye stated, “We will take all measures” during a national security meeting with central bank ministers and financiers, meaning more financial sanctions against the already sanctioned DPRK, where it is estimated that over 250,000 political prisoners are imprisoned and an estimated 2 million have perished due to famine.

“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.”

This latest test is also seen as solidifying the regime and reign of Kim Jong-Un within the Hermit State.  After the sudden death of his father, Kim Jong-Il, purges from within his family and the Party, the tests are seen as a way for Un to prove he is the legitimate leader as well, surpassing feats his father or still President Grandfather could not.

Just how this will play out in the world of global politics is still to be seen.  But at the time of this writing, there sure is a lot of chatter.

Sources: BloombergTelegraph UK

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Leo Ashcraft

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