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Reported by Ryan Pickrell | China/Asia Pacific Reporter | 3:12 AM 09/03/2017

Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14 is pictured during its second test-fire in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on July 29, 2017. KCNA via Reuters

 

North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb for its new intercontinental ballistic missile, state media revealed in a special announcement Sunday. North Korea, having received authorization from Kim Jong-un, conducted its sixth nuclear test at noon Sunday. The reclusive regime reportedly tested a staged thermonuclear device that can be mounted on the Hwasong-14 ICBM tested twice in July.

North Korea’s Hwasong-14 is a powerful ICBM that can range most of the continental U.S., according to leading experts. The North revealed the warhead it intends to mount on its new missile earlier in the day. North Korea claims the test was a total success,” although there is some evidence that part of the tunnel at the testing site collapsed after the test. North Korea asserts that no radioactive material leaked out during the test.

 

While this is not the first time the North has claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, evidence suggests that this may be the real deal. The seismic data resembled that of a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, suggesting that North Korea tested a nuclear device with an explosive yield of at least 100 kilotons, much larger than any of the North’s previous tests.

Experts estimate that a 100 kiloton bomb detonated at an altitude of about 1 kilometer would likely collapse most civilian structures in a target city.

North Korea appears to have all the components for a viable nuclear deterrent against the U.S. and its allies, specifically an arsenal of theater missiles and an ICBM that can range the U.S., a nuclear warhead, and a reliable re-entry vehicle capable of surviving an intercontinental trajectory. (RELATED: Report: US Intel Indicates North Korea Now Has Everything It Needs To Nuke The US)

Regardless of whether or not North Korea tested an actual H-bomb, as it claims, North Korea has clearly crossed the threshold from a deterrence standpoint.

 

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