North Korea claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb

Peter Nicholson

Peter Nicholson

The test was carried out at 12.29pm local time at the Punggye-ri site where North Korea has conducted almost all of its past nuclear tests.

KCNA said North Korea "recently succeeded" in making a more advanced hydrogen bomb.

North Korea has also conducted a series of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in recent months, including one that flew over Japan last week, and Kim has stated that his next major target is the USA territory of Guam. Ri Chun Hee, the news presenter, beamed as she announced the "perfect" explosion.

Authorities elsewhere were not so happy.

South Korea, under new president Moon Jae-in, has said it is open to talks with its neighbour, but has so far toed the United States line by repeating the caveat that preconditions must be met. His government demanded the "complete" isolation of North Korea through further United Nations sanctions, and vowed to strengthen its military alliance with America even further.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the test "absolutely unacceptable".

But it is America's reaction that will determine how events now unfold.

Last week, however, North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan.

Local woman in Texas at Red Cross disaster headquarters
Volunteers said they will provide that as well as food, items donated from the community, social services and spiritual guidance. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have announced a commitment of $20 million in support of relief efforts of Hurricane Harvey .

Following Sunday's nuclear test, China's foreign ministry expressed "resolute opposition" and "strong condemnation" toward North Korea's decision to flout worldwide sanctions by continuing with its nuclear program. North Korea had made an absurd tactical mistake by committing a series of provocations such as launching ICBM [long-range] missiles and conducting a nuclear test, which was heightened tensions on the [Korean] peninsula and is threatening world peace.

When asked if Russia would support new sanctions against North Korea after it carried out a nuclear bomb test on Sunday, Peskov said: "The Russian Federation is ready to take part in all discussions on North Korea problems within a framework of United Nations Security Council and in other forms".

Moscow denounced the American decision to close three Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States as a "blatantly hostile act" that violated worldwide law and demanded Washington reverse the order. What he called South Korea's "talk of appeasement" would not work as "they (the North Koreans) only understand one thing!" "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has once again conducted a nuclear test in spite of widespread opposition from the worldwide community". But outside experts said it was likely a "boosted" device, meaning an atomic bomb which uses some hydrogen isotopes to create bigger yield.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was calling counterparts in Asia, and Trump's treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said he was putting together proposed new sanctions for Trump to consider that would seek to cut off trade with North Korea.

As it happens, the week ahead will be full of diplomatic pow-wows at which the global response to the test will doubtless be debated.

A National Security Council official told CNN that national security adviser H.R. McMaster also would attend the meeting, and Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was seen entering the White House. It allows the weapons to pack a huge punch while fitting in a warhead small enough to be delivered by a missile.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, had been considering cancelling America's free-trade agreement with South Korea. But just what they will advise him to do instead is anyone's guess.

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