North Korea conducts biggest-ever nuclear test


North Korea announced on Sunday that it had successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb which could be fitted onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). A few hours earlier, Pyongyang told the world that it possessed an “advanced Hydrogen bomb.”

“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,” state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said following the blast.

Shortly after the test, Seoul said that it had detected an artificial earthquake in the north of the Korean Peninsula. According to Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.6 although the U.S. Geological Survey reported that it recorded a 6.3-magnitude seismic event.

The KMA also reported that the power of Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test blast was approximately 50 kilotons while the Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR) estimated that the blast could have yielded as many as 120 kilotons. In any case, Sunday’s test was a lot more powerful than those conducted previously.

Pyongyang’s first ever nuclear test in 2006 yielded under one kiloton while its fifth test in September 2016 reached approximately 10 kilotons. One kiloton is the equivalent of 1,000 tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT).

President Trump promptly took to Twitter to condemn Pyongyang’s actions and to emphasize that dialogue was not the answer as evidenced by Beijing’s inability to put pressure on Kim Jong-un.

“North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States. North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success,” Mr. Trump wrote.

On August 30, the president reiterated that talking with Pyongyang – “and paying them extortion money for 25 years” – was futile although Moscow recently suggested that the North Korea issue could only be solved through “direct dialogue involving all sides.” But let’s face it: if the country’s closest ally China cannot get the rogue regime to stop provoking the international community or return to the negotiating table, what chance does the Trump administration have?

At the time of writing, it was not yet clear whether the Trump administration would seek yet another emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council in the next few hours but South Korean President Moon Jae-In has already called for additional sanctions against the rogue regime.