한국어 | January 23, 2017
January 23, 2017
North Korea says it tested hydrogen bomb
North Korea says it tested hydrogen bomb
Fourth nuclear test shows DPRK committed development in the face of sanctions
January 6th, 2016

North Korea claimed it carried out a successful hydrogen bomb test on Wednesday, in a broadcast at midday Pyongyang time on Korean Central Television (KCTV).

The announcement followed the detection of an artificial earthquake which took place two hours earlier near the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

“The DPRK’s first hydrogen thermonuclear weapon test was successfully conducted at 10 in the morning,” a KCTV announcer said during the early broadcast.

North Korea claimed it was reacting to Washington’s long-standing nuclear arsenal, though even mentioned recent focus on the DPRK’s human rights violations among reasons for the test.

“The U.S. has gathered forces hostile to (the) DPRK and raised a slanderous human rights issue to hinder (the) DPRK’s improvement.”

“It is (therefore) just to have H-bomb as self-defense against the U.S. having numerous and humongous nuclear weapons. The DPRK’s fate must not be protected by any forces but DPRK itself,” the KCTV statement continued.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also later issued a statement on the test, saying it meant “a higher stage of the DPRK’s development of nuclear force.”

“The DPRK’s access to H-bomb of justice, standing against the U.S., the chieftain of aggression watching for a chance for attack on it with huge nukes of various types,” the article read.


Hydrogen bombs have the potential for higher power configurations than the plutonium-based devices North Korea has previously tested. Notably, Kim Jong Un made headlines in December when he claimed the DPRK already possessed hydrogen-upgraded weaponry.

“If its true that North Korea has detonated a thermonuclear device, then they have demonstrated considerable technological advancement in the field, though obviously this remains unverified,” NK News director of intelligence John Grisafi said. “If true, however, it also indicates they have likely dedicated significant resources to the effort.”

Bruce Bechtol, associate professor of political science at Angelo State University, said that more advanced weaponry would increase the threat to countries in the region and the U.S.

“If in fact it was a hydrogen test, this means the North Koreans are advancing their nuclear weaponization program at a faster and more efficient (and deadly) pace than most analysts have predicted in the past.”

The test was conducted in the DPRK’s North Hamgyong province, near the border of Ryanggang. The Punggye-ri nuclear test site is located in this area. According to, the depth of the seismic event was 10km. However, subsequent reports disputed this, with some indicating a detonation taking place just under the surface.


North Korea has now conducted four nuclear tests, with the most recent coming just two days before Kim Jong Un’s birthday. Previous tests have triggered international condemnation and further rounds of sanctions on the DPRK, though have apparently done little to sway the North from its nuclear ambitions. 

“The North Korean leadership is firmly committed to its nuclear program and is little influenced by external factors. The timing of tests may be marginally affected by external considerations, but the primary factor is technical,” David Straub, Associate Director of the Korea Program at Stanford told NK News.

Despite the test’s potential to destabilise the region in the short term, Dr Andrei Lankov of Kookmin University was skeptical there would be any longer term consequences.

“Ramifications? What ramifications? A bit of noise, and perhaps another UN Security Council resolution which will change little or nothing, but nothing of substance.” 

“In short term, it will definitely have an impact (on North Korea’s relations with its neighbors), but not in the long run,” Lankov added.

The test comes amidst strained ties with long-standing ally China, which saw the DPRK recently cancel a state organized concert in Beijing at the last minute.

“It seems that North Korea and China have had a collision as we can see by the withdrawal of the Moranbong band, and Kim Jong Un made a sudden decision,” Cho Han-bum, senior researcher at the Korea Institution of National Unification (KINU) told NK News.


One of the nearer term impacts could be to derail hopes of continued cooperation between North and South Korea. Prior to the test, hopes for further reconciliatory moves between Seoul and Pyongyang had emerged following a landmark deal on August 25 last year.

“(The test) means the North Korean leadership has made the decision that warming up to the South is no longer a viable option for the present time. If it is a nuclear test, the South – and its key allies – will likely suspend any talks, and possibly inflict more sanctions on the DPRK,” Bechtol said.

North Korea’s official statement on KCTV also mentioned that “true peace is not made at a disgraceful conference.” The statement is particularly noteworthy in the wake of the recent death of Kim Yang Gon on December 29, which has been viewed with considerable suspicion among the North Korea watcher community.

Kim was Pyongyang’s point man on relations with the South and the North’s primary negotiator in talks held last August.

North Korea has previously conducted nuclear tests on October 9, 2006, May 25, 2009, and February 12, 2013, with explosive yields of less than one kiloton, 2-4 kilotons and 6-7 kilotons, respectively.

Featured Image: Photo by catalania on

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  • Ewiak Ryszard

    As seen, not only the US and Russia is preparing for nuclear war. The Book of Revelation warns: “And another horse came forth, a red horse: and to him that sat thereon it was given to take peace from the earth, and that they should slay one another: and there was given unto him a great sword [in this context means a nuclear sword]. And when he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, Come. And I saw, and behold, a black horse; and he that sat thereon had a balance in his hand [food will be rationed]. And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A quart [about a liter] of wheat for a denarius [a full day’s wages], and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the olive oil and the wine [species resistant to drought].” (Revelation 6:4-6) However now we can still sleep peacefully. Before that, Russia will return. (Daniel 11:29) The return of Russia in this context also means break up the European Union and NATO. Then many countries of the former Eastern block will return to Russia’s zone of influence. Russian troops will be stationed here again. This will be the last sign before WWIII. However, this will be neither “the end of the world” (Armageddon). As Jesus foretold, that will be “the beginning of birth pains”. (Matthew 24:7,8)

    • joedonovan

      But the I Ching predicts that Justin Bieber will give a sold-out show in Pyongyang Stadium on Nov 15 of this year! So hard to decide which revelation to believe!

      • Stainmaster Zinc

        Can you get your Fearless Leader to KEEP him there?

  • Stan Squires

    I am from Vancouver,Canada and I wanted to say that it is the presence of US Troops on the Korean Peninsula that is the biggest problem in Korea,not the DPRK testing a Hydrogen Bomb.How come the UN,Japan and the USA don’t criticize Israel,Pakistan for having nuclear weapons.Besides it was the USA that used nuclear weapons on Japan so it is in no position to criticize the DPRK for having the Hydrogen Bomb.
    If the US Troops weren’t on the Korean Peninsula the two parts of Korea would be united and there wouldn’t be these problems.The Gov’t of South Korea is a lackey of the USA and should be condemned.In Venezuela the people there are having similar problems with Yankee Imperialism.The Yankees should go home and there would be less problems in the world.

    • TNTrawlerman

      I too am from Vancouver, and thoroughly embarrassed that such an ignorant post as yours would emanate from my home Province. North Korea is the ultimate criminal state, that has exported more weapons to terrorists, subdued its own people to an incredible degree, and its “fearless” leader has murdered more people than any other mass murderer I individually know of. That repressive regime has starved its own people repeatedly, and the very fact that they can not get on internet to read this or hear a dissenting view on television or radio says it all. You are either a DPRK troll or you are dismally ignorant of the facts.

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