North Korea said that it had carried out a Hydrogen Bomb test on Wednesday which would make it its fourth nuclear test.
In response, the UN Security Council has agreed to start drawing up new measures against North Korea in order to prevent any large scale catastrophe emerging from this. People remain sceptical over whether North Korea did genuinely conduct the test.
Experts have said the seismic activity generated by the blast was not large enough for it to have been a full thermonuclear explosion.
President Obama, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have “agreed to work together to forge a united and strong international response to North Korea’s latest reckless behaviour”.
Prime Minister Abe added that Japan may take unilateral action, saying it is “considering measures unique to our nation”.
The UN ambassador for Russia, which has been developing warmer relations with Pyongyang, said it would be going “too far” to say Moscow supported further sanctions.
North Korea has a determination to defy both world opinion and heavy sanctions to reach its nuclear goal. Crucially, its main ally, China, has proved either unwilling or unable to help.
South Korea has said it will restart propaganda broadcasts across the border on Friday, an act which the North strongly opposes. The broadcasts were halted last year as part of a deal with the North to ease tensions that had escalated sharply in the summer.
Bruce Bennett, an analyst with the Rand Corporation, was among those casting doubts on Pyongyang’s test: “The bang they should have gotten would have been 10 times greater than what they’re claiming.” Some analysts have suggested it is possible Pyongyang tested a “boosted” atomic bomb, which uses some fusion fuel to increase the yield of the fission reaction.
The US and nearby countries are thought to be carrying out atmospheric sampling, hoping to find leaked radioactive material, which would give clues as to what kind of device was tested.
Should we be worried? Only time will tell I suppose whether their claims are really true or not. We should however be aware that we are essentially dealing with a completely different culture and political landscape from our own – with people who lead very different ways of life from our own. I suppose it cuts both ways but just as much as we believe our way of life is threatened by their they also seem to believe that theirs is too by us. With so much misinformation available it is genuinely difficutl to ascertain the level of threat.
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