Quake, 'Explosion' Recorded in North Korea After H-Bomb Claim; Nuke Test Suspected

"The hydrogen bomb test was a flawless success", an announcer on state TV claimed after Sunday's test.

Sunday's detonation builds on recent North Korean advances that include test launches in July of two ICBMs that are believed to be capable of reaching the mainland United States.

Reports have suggested that Pyongyang could soon carry out a sixth nuclear test, but the respected 38 North website said last week that satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri test site showed no evidence that a blast was imminent.

The test happened just hours after Pyongyang released photos of what it called a hydrogen bomb capable of being mounted on a long-range missile. A quake's magnitude is used in calculating a nuclear device's yield.

Authorities in Japan, South Korea and numerous nongovernment experts in the United States confirmed that the earthquakes were likely the result of a nuclear test.


An artificial natural disaster with a 5.7 magnitude was detected at 12:20 p.m. near North Korea's nuclear site in the northeastern area.

An natural disaster registering 6.3 was detected in the secretive state on Sunday 75km (45 miles) north-northwest of Kimchaek, where previous tests have been carried out.

"But based on the seismic signature, the yield of this test definitely is an order of magnitude higher than the yields of the previous tests". The Chinese government also put the size of the tremor at magnitude 6.3.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the military had "detected a man-made natural disaster near Punggye-ri and is analyzing whether it was a nuclear test".

"It is absolutely unacceptable if North Korea did force another nuclear test, and we must protest strongly", Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.


While his advisers stress diplomacy, President Trump has repeatedly raised the option of military measures to shut down the North's nuclear and missile programmes.

Moon, who had called for dialogue with North Korea during his election campaign, has been pushed to take an increasingly harder stance following series of provocations. After Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan last week, he tweeted that "talking is not the answer". After a North Korean missile flew over Japan's airspace to land in the Pacific on August 29, Moon ordered the military to conduct a show-of-force exercise.

But as NPR's Elise Hu reported, Jenny Town, the assistant director of the U.S. -Korea Institute at John Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies says a policy of increasing pressure is misconstrued as "hostility", which, Town argues, "justifies its need for nuclear weapons". However, but North Korea's increasingly serious provocations have prompted the current liberal administration's Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo to discuss the issue with his USA counterpart.

Then Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said there was no doubt this was North Korea's sixth nuclear test. South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said they detected an "artificial seismic wave" at 12:29 p.m. local time.

South Korea's presidential office immediately convened a National Security Council meeting on the issue.



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