Seoul — After a series of similar claims, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced today on local media that the country had created a hydrogen bomb, to which international experts showed skepticism.
Kim, who gave the news on the Phyongchon Revolutionary Site — in honor of his ascendants and former rulers of the nation — stated that the work of his father and grandfather had turned the country into “a powerful nuclear weapons state.” He pointed out they were ready to use A-bombs and H-bombs in order to preserve North Korea’s dignity and sovereignty.
While taking these claims into consideration, international forces don’t seem to take them as a fact.
“At this point, the information that we have access to calls into serious question those claims, but we take very seriously the risk and the threat that is posed by the North Korean regime in their ambitions to develop a nuclear weapon,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
The bomb threat has been a persistent intimidation tactic by the North Korean regime. Long ago, an official local newspaper suggested that the country’s scientists were building a hydrogen bomb and, back in May 2010, it was published in the state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun, that North Korean researchers had managed to develop a nuclear fusion reaction, which is key for building a hydrogen bomb. Hwang Jang-yop, who used to be secretary of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party before fleeing the country, reported that the country had been in fact researching nuclear fusion and atomic weapons from a long time ago.
The totalitarian regime has also claimed to own miniaturized nuclear weapons, but despite Hwang’s statements and North Korea’s underground nuclear tests in previous years, South Korean authorities argue that there isn’t any evidence proving that the northern country has capacity for hydrogen bombs.
Lee Chun-keun, researcher from the South Korean Science and Technology Policy Institute, took a different approach when he wrote in a paper that the North got laser nuclear fusion equipment from China in the decade of the 80’s, which they might be using to build a reinforced nuclear weapon.
He explained that atomic weapon tests can be conducted in a lab without the need of a real nuclear explosion, and that further development of technology for nuclear fusion would lead to the creation of both reinforced atomic weapons and hydrogen bombs.
According to David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, authors of a paper published by the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, the nation could be attempting to use its nuclear complex Yongbyon to produce tritium, which is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen capable of boosting an atomic bomb’s destructive power.
Source: New York Times