North Korea claims to have built a hydrogen bomb which is capable of being loaded on a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Early on Sunday, the official Korean Central News Agency KCNA reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had inspected one of the domestically-built hydrogen bombs at the country’s Nuclear Weapons Institute.
It was a “thermonuclear weapon with super explosive power made by our own efforts and technology… All components of the H-bomb were 100 percent domestically made,” said Kim.
The report comes amid intensified regional tension following Pyongyang’s test launch of two ICBM-class missiles in July with a potential range of about 10,000 kilometers that could target multiple regions of the US mainland.
On Tuesday, North Korea fired a Hwasong-12 missile — reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear payload — that traveled nearly 2,700 kilometers into the Pacific and triggered alert warnings as it flew over northern Japan.
The launch sparked angry reactions from Japan and the United States, as well as calls for restraint by other countries. The move also prompted a United Nations Security Council emergency session at the request of Washington and Tokyo and a subsequent resolution that condemned the launch.
The 15-member council unanimously called on Pyongyang to halt its missile and nuclear programs. Pyongyang says it will not give up on its missile and nuclear deterrence unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward the country and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.