North Korean state media on Monday claimed that its hydrogen bomb is advanced enough to carry out a strike on New York City and wipe out the entire populace of the metropolis.
Pyongyang also claimed that its bomb power exceeds the explosive radius of the most powerful bomb in history, the Tsar Bomba, also known as the “King of Bombs.”
The Soviet Tsar Bomba was a 50-megaton device, or 2,800 times more powerful than the Little Boy bomb used at Hiroshima. Though Tsar Bomba, detonated in October 1961, was not mentioned by name, the North Korean description of the weapon matches only it.
“Our hydrogen bomb’s power is greater than the Soviet Union’s bomb that (is) capable of causing third-degree burns 100 kilometers away from ground zero and partially broken windows at distances of 1,000 kilometers,” said the North Korean state-bulletin DPRK Today.
North Korean media also claimed that their bomb could wipe out the whole populace of New York City if placed on a long-range missile.
“If our bomb is fitted to an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and falls on New York, Manhattan Island, all of the residents will die instantly with the whole of their city … no, the whole of the mainland being completely devastated,” the North Korean article claimed.
However, a South Korean nuclear scientist simply called the North Korean claims “childish.”
“No, they can’t fit such bomb on an ICBM,” Suh Kune-yull, a nuclear scientist from Seoul National University told NK News.
“The Tsar Bomba weighed about 27 metric tons when it was invented, and even today we would have to use a specially modified large bomber to drop a bomb of that size as they did in 60s.”
The Tsar Bomba‘s immense size famously required a special plane with its bomb bay doors and fuselage fuel tanks taken out to deploy.
Even under the assumption that North Koreans have invented a light-weight bomb with a yield similar to the Tsar Bomba, still the country lacks precise ICBM technology, Suh said.
“I do believe that North Korea has the capability to shoot an ICBM into the stratosphere, though the ICBM will be dismembered as the country does not have technology that enables the ICBM to endure the friction heat that is created while it enters the atmosphere,” Suh said.
The New York threat follows a series of recent North Korean threats and claims, including the launch of two Scud missiles, the publishing of pictures of a “miniaturized” warhead, a threat to liberate South Korea and bomb the U.S. mainland just since the end of last month.
“Chosun (North Korea) is unlike Afghanistan or Iraq or Lybia,” the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Monday, criticizing the arrival of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in Busan port to take part in the ongoing ROK-U.S. joint training.
“The U.S. and its followers are hoping to shake us with their military forces, but such attempts are futile,” the paper read.
Featured image: Tsar Bomba, Wikimedia Commons
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