North Korea Claims H-Bomb Test, Draws Global Condemnation
North Korea officials say they've successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, a move that quickly drew condemnation from global leaders.
"With the perfect success of our historic H-bomb, we have joined the rank of advanced nuclear states," a North Korean television anchor reported Wednesday.
North Korea conducted the test around 10 a.m. local time and claimed it was a "miniaturized" device. Those watching the announcement welcomed the test.
"The United States is the aggressor, with all kinds of nuclear weapons waiting to invade our country," Pyongyang citizen Song Chol noted. "So having a hydrogen bomb is the right thing, the legitimate right of a sovereign state, which nobody can complain about. It would be stupid to put down your gun as you are faced by fierce wolves rushing at you."
Erick Stakelbeck says North Korea's test is further proof America's enemies do not fear the Obama administration. Click play to watch.
Some intelligence experts are skeptical that the underground test was in fact a hydrogen bomb, according to reports on Fox News.
If the claim is confirmed, it would put North Korea a big step closer to improving its still-limited nuclear arsenal and its goal to build a bomb small enough to place on a missile that can reach the U.S. mainland.
The United States sees that as a serious threat, but North Koreans claim such weaponry is necessary to protect themselves from America.
"It's a reliable way of defending peace and security on the Korean peninsula from the nuclear threat that comes from hostile forces led by the U.S.," Pyongyang citizen Hong Chol Min said.
The global reaction to the test was immediate, with many world leaders condemning it.
Britain's foreign secretary called it a "provocation." Neighboring South Korea also denounced the move, saying it was yet another violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
"We urge North Korea to clearly realize that international society will not accept under any circumstances the country's holding of a nuclear program," Cho Tae-yong, deputy chief of the Presidential Office of National Security, said.
South Korea's intelligence agency is disputing the North's claim that it was a hydrogen bomb, saying the explosion was too small and they detected no radiation from the suspected site.
An earthquake measuring 5.1 was recorded some 30 miles from where North Korea has conducted previous tests.
Early last month, North Korea's President Kim Jung-Un claimed his scientists had developed a hydrogen bomb, but nuclear experts like Jeffrey Lewis are skeptical of his claim.
"Thermonuclear weapons are tricky; making one work requires a bit of test experience," he wrote.
The test comes on the heels of a massive gathering in North Korea's capital city Tuesday. Tens of thousands braved frigid temperatures to show their support for the president and their country.
"Every official party member and worker in Pyongyang should demonstrate the spirit and the true merits of Korea," North Korean official Kim Su Gil said.