N. Korea says it loaded H-bomb onto missile

N. Korea says it loaded H-bomb onto missile

North Korea said it conducted its sixth nuclear test Sunday, detonating what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb created to be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile.

South Korea's weather agency said the artificial natural disaster caused by the explosion was five times to six times stronger than tremors generated by the North's previous five tests.

The U.S Geological Survey said it had recorded a 6.3 magnitude quake at noon Sunday local time, near North Korea's known nuclear test site in the country's northeast region.

A hydrogen bomb can achieve thousands of kilotons of explosive yield - massively more powerful than some 10 to 15 kilotons that North Korea's last nuclear test in September was estimated to have produced, similar to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

South Korea and Japan are gathering and analysing data to confirm details of the test, which Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said could not be tolerated.

North Korea's Central News Agency reported Sunday that Pyongyang has developed an ICBM loaded with a hydrogen bomb, running photos purporting to show leader Kim Jong-un inspecting an H-bomb to be loaded into a new ICBM.

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Japan said it had concluded there was a nuclear test.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency says a second quake was detected near North Korea's nuclear test site. Kim's regime has said it won't give up its nuclear weapons and missile program until the USA drops its "hostile" policies such as joint military drills with South Korea that ended last week.

The United States and other nations have not confirmed the veracity of North Korea's claim.

Just before the test, according to state media, Kim and the other senior leaders at the party presidium meeting discussed "detailed ways and measures for containing the US and other hostile forces' vicious moves for sanctions". "We will convene a National Security council meeting to gather and analyze the information", Abe said in a live television broadcast prior to Kono's announcement. It has since maintained a torrid pace in weapons tests, including its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles test in July. South Korea's military said it has strengthened its monitoring and readiness while mulling a variety of possible responses that could be executed in collaboration with the U.S.

North Korea announced Sunday it successfully tested a hydrogen nuclear bomb that can be loaded onto a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

The shape shows a marked difference from pictures of the ball-shaped device North Korea released in March past year, and appears to indicate the appearance of a two-stage thermonuclear weapon, or a hydrogen bomb, said Lee Choon-geun, senior research fellow at state-run Science and Technology Policy Institute.

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North Korea further raised regional tensions on Tuesday by launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, drawing worldwide condemnation.

The nuclear test is understood to be the largest yet and follows two last year, as well as a string of missile tests this year.

North Korea's nuclear and missile program has made huge strides since Kim rose to power following his father's death in late 2011.

After suggesting that North Korea's leader "is starting to respect us", Trump on Wednesday returned to his tougher line. The statement did not say whether the conversation came before or after the North's latest claim.

The H-bomb can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attacks, it added.

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