North Korea said Sunday that it has successfully conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb that can be loaded into its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in what could be the most powerful detonation.
In an "important" announcement, North Korea said that it carried out the sixth nuclear test at 12:00 p.m. (Pyongyang Time), calling it a "perfect" success.
The announcement came hours after an artificial earthquake with a 5.7 magnitude was detected near North Korea's nuclear site in the northeastern area.
"The H-bomb test was carried out to examine and confirm the accuracy and credibility of the power control technology, and internal structural design newly introduced into manufacturing the H-bomb to be placed as the payload of the ICBM," the Korean Central News Agency said.
It marks North Korea's sixth nuclear test since 2006 including two detonations last year.
Earlier in the day, North Korea claimed that it has developed a hydrogen bomb that can be mounted on an ICBM.
The provocation came amid heightened tensions after North Korea tested two ICBMs in July. Analysts said the ICBM tests could put much of the U.S. mainland within range, including Los Angeles and Chicago.
In January 2016, North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test, which Pyongyang claimed to be a successful test of a hydrogen bomb. Outside experts said that it appeared to be a test of a boosted fission weapon, rather than an H-bomb.
South Korea's weather agency said Sunday that the latest blast was five to six times more powerful that the North's fifth test in September 2016. The explosion a year ago, presumably with a yield of 10 kilotons, triggered a 5.04 magnitude earthquake.
Sunday's test was 11 times more destructive than its fourth test, it said.
North Korea's provocation is expected to prompt the international community to seek tougher sanctions and pressure. (Yonhap)
Kim Su-a email@example.com
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