ABC: Lee Jin-man
The U.S. and Japan have called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, a senior UN official told ABC News.
Before North Korea’s announcement, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake was measured in the country near the site of an earlier nuclear weapons test, officials said Tuesday night. The tremblor was detected about 12 miles ENE of Sungjibaegam and the South Korean weather agency said indications were that it was “artificial.”
“We have perfectly succeeded in testing our first hydrogen bomb,” an anchor said on North Korean state TV. “It was one hundred percent capable from our own wisdom, technology, and power. We have now scientifically test-proved a miniaturized hydrogen bomb.”
After the announcement, North Korea state TV replayed an earlier statement made in December, about Kim Jong-un’s plans to test a hydrogen bomb. New footage from the December statement shows a photo of Kim Jong-un signing an authorization letter.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the State Department said in a statement, “We are aware of seismic activity on the Korean Peninsula in the vicinity of a known North Korean nuclear test site and have seen Pyongyang’s claims of a nuclear test. We are monitoring and continuing to assess the situation in close coordination with our regional partners.
While we cannot confirm these claims at this time, we condemn any violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and again call on North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments.”
According to Kirby, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006 and only twice since, not including today’s unconfirmed test.
“We condemn any violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and again call on North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments,” Kirby said.
The site of Tuesday’s quake is about 5 miles from the Punggye-ri nuclear site where a test was conducted in 2013.
A quake measured at the site at that time registered the same magnitude. It was later deemed to be a nuclear explosion.
U.S. officials said that they will send up specially equipped “sniffer” planes to determine whether a nuclear test was conducted and, if so, what type of test was done.
One official said the U.S. doesn’t believe that North Korea has the capability for a hydrogen bomb but can’t be certain until testing is conducted.