North Korea claims to have tested hydrogen bomb; experts skeptical
PYONGYANG, North Korea – North Korea announced Wednesday that it had “spectacular success” testing a hydrogen bomb.
It is an act that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said would “make the world… look up to our strong nuclear country.”
However, many experts are questioning the validity of the test.
The underground test corresponded with a 5.1 magnitude seismic event, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Officials say it is comparable to readings from the country’s plutonium test, conducted in 2013. But many are saying that it is not consistent with readings that would normally be associated with a hydrogen bomb.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said “the initial analysis is not consistent with the North Korean claims.”
“We won’t know for another few days or weeks whether this was [a hydrogen bomb,]” said Martin Navias, a military expert at King’s College London. “It doesn’t look like one;… one would have expected it to be greater if it was an H-bomb.”
Count Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the Rand research group is also a skeptic. He said North Korea has had trouble “mastering even the basics of a fission weapon,” so it would be a big leap to create a hydrogen bomb.
The United Nations Security Council held a closed-door meeting Wednesday geared to preventing Pyongyang from getting more nuclear weapons and punishing it for the test earlier that day.