North Korea may have conducted sixth nuclear test

Kristopher Drake
September 5, 2017

North Korean scientists have built an advanced hydrogen bomb that can be mounted onto an inter-continental ballistic missile, state media says.

North Korea a year ago conducted its fourth and fifth nuclear tests, saying the fourth in January 2016 was a successful hydrogen bomb test, although outside experts say the claim has not been proved.

In a hydrogen (thermonuclear) bomb, "heavy" isotopes of hydrogen are forced together to release a much bigger punch - hundreds or even thousands of times more powerful than the only nuclear weapons that have been used in warfare.

An quake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale was detected in North Korea after the country conducted its sixth nuclear test, a move the U.S. and its allies in the region are likely to view as a major provocation, the media reported.

The tremor struck within a kilometre of the site of a magnitude-5.3 "nuclear explosion" from September previous year, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

He added that Pyongyang has become a "great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success"; warned South Korea their "talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work"; and said Washington is considering "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea".

"The chancellor and the president are in agreement that North Korea has trampled on global law and that the worldwide community must therefore react with determination against this new escalation", Merkel's office said in a statement after she spoke on the phone with Macron.

South Korea's presidential office says the security chiefs for Seoul and Washington have spoken following North Korea's sixth nuclear test.

According to the White House statement, the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of close cooperation between the United States, Japan, and South Korea in the face of the growing threat from North Korea.

March 7, 2017: U.S. begins deploying THAAD missile defence system in South Korea.

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

The broadcaster carried images of leader Kim Jong-Un, the third generation of the family to rule the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as the country is officially known, sitting at a circular table with a general and three other officials.

"We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely, North Korea", Mattis said after underscoring that the United Nations Security Council agrees North Korea is a threat, and is committed to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

It also has yet to show proof of its claims of miniaturisation.

Experts are sceptical of the claim that Pyongyang has mastered hydrogen technology, although it is nearly impossible to verify statements about its highly secret weapons programme.

The president's office would not comment on what it means by "strongest strategic assets".

"If so, the conflict between China and North Korea will transcend any conflict between the United States and North Korea, and take center stage on the Korean Peninsula".

Both leaders "are calling for tougher European Union sanctions against North Korea", it added. It urged North Korea to "stop taking erroneous actions that deteriorate the situation".

May 14, 2017: North Korea fires a ballistic missile which flies 700 kilometres before landing in the Sea of Japan.

It would be the sixth nuclear test by Pyongyang since 2006 and the first since the US and South Korea elected new leaders.

China has said it wants denuclearisation but has grown increasingly irate at the United States in the past fortnight, after Washington imposed unilateral sanctions on Chinese companies caught dealing with North Korea.

Thermonuclear weapons typically use a fission explosion to create a fusion reaction, which is far more powerful than a fission reaction.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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