Only hours after South Korea detected a 4.8 magnitude earthquake 30 miles away from North Korea’s Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site, a news anchor on state-controlled television in North Korea announced Wednesday morning that dictator Kim Jong Un had successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test.
“Heaven and earth are shaking because of this historic event,” the anchor said, according to NBC News. “It is our legal right as a sovereign nation to own hydrogen bomb for justice as we stand against the U.S., which is the culprit of invasion and who is looking for every opportunity to attack us with its vast pool of murderous nuclear weapons.”
But South Korean officials doubt that this actually occurred.
According to lawmaker Lee Cheol Woo, the National Intelligence Service informed him that it had detected an explosive yield of only six kilotons, which pales in comparison to the tens of kilotons even just a failed hydrogen bomb detonation would have produced
Professor Jin Canrong, an international relations expert based at Renmin University in Beijing, felt skeptical as well, though he admitted that North Korea may have detonated a “miniature atomic bomb.”
However, neither officials in the United States nor the citizens of North Korea seemed particularly concerned about the veracity of the claim.
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“While we cannot confirm these claims at this time, we condemn any violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and again call on North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said Tuesday evening.
Likewise, citizens of Pyongyang reportedly were seen celebrating after the alleged hydrogen bomb test, with one university student allegedly saying, “If we didn’t have powerful nuclear weapons, we would already have been turned into the slaves of the U.S.”