The U.S. State Department said it is aware of "seismic activity on the Korean Peninsula in the vicinity of a known North Korean nuclear test site."
(Talk Media News) – North Korea claimed Tuesday that it detonated a Hydrogen bomb, a nuclear weapon much more powerful than the atomic bombs it is known to have tested three times since 2006.
The U.S. State Department could not confirm the claim late Tuesday night, but did acknowledge that the government picked up “seismic activity on the Korean Peninsula in the vicinity of a known North Korean nuclear test site.”
The United States Geological Survey registered a 5.1 seismic event along the country’s northeast coast.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said that “if the nuclear test is confirmed, it is in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions and is deeply regrettable.”
Announcing the test, a North Korean state TV broadcaster said in a video translated by NBC News, “The Republic, as a responsible nuclear weapon holder, will neither use nuclear weapons first nor transfer related means and technology under any circumstances as already declared unless aggressive, hostile forces infringe upon our autonomy.”
In December North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un announced that his country had developed the technology to build a thermonuclear weapon, but experts responded with skepticism.
Some said that the isolated nation had instead created a “boosted-fission weapon,” a weapon more powerful than a traditional atomic bomb but not at the level of a hydrogen bomb.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the nation’s claim “undermines regional and international security.”
“North Korea should abandon nuclear weapons and existing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and engage in credible and authentic talks on denuclearisation,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.
The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), which advocates for a complete nuclear explosion ban, called on the nation to to “refrain from further nuclear testing” and join the 183 States Signatories who have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
North Korea has been subject to U.N. sanctions since it first tested an atomic device on Oct. 9, 2006. It followed that test with two more, May 25, 2009 and Feb. 12, 2013.
The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss North Korea’s detonation claim.