Amongst tensions between South Korea and North Korea, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has stepped up to say his country has developed a hydrogen bomb, a step up from the less powerful atomic bomb.

The work of Kim Il Sung “turned the DPRK into a powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self­reliant A­bomb and H­bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation,” KCNA quoted Kim Jong Un as saying.

A hydrogen bomb, also known as a thermonuclear bomb, uses more advanced technology to produce a significantly more powerful blast than an atomic bomb.

These claims have sparked discussion and concern, many speculating if the claims are really true. But the United States and outside experts are sceptical. In Washington, the White House said it was doubtful that North Korea had developed a hydrogen bomb, but ascertained that Pyongyang remained a threat.

Following this claims, North Korea announced on 6 January, that it had successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb, the fourth time it had detonated a nuclear device.

On Jan 6, 2016, news reports in Seoul reports that seismologists detected a 5.1 magnitude tremor next to North Korea’s main atomic test site. However, Dr Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defence and Security Forum, is skeptical, saying that “They could have tested some middle stage kind (of device) between an A­bomb and H­bomb, but unless they come up with any clear evidence, it is difficult to trust their claim.”

Only a few countries are known to have hydrogen bombs: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China and India.

Warfare is a dangerous thing and it can be close to us, peace and security should not be taken for granted. Anything can hit close to home, so we should always be on a lookout and keep up with headlines.


Sarah Lam (4U)


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