North Korea could face further sanctions after it claimed to have tested an hydrogen bomb – a far more dangerous weapon than an atomic bomb.
The UN Security Council, after an emergency meeting called by the US, Japan and South Korea, said it would begin work immediately on new measures against North Korea.
The council condemned the test, saying “a clear threat to international peace and security continues to exist”.
Uruguay’s Ambassador Elbio Rosselli, this month’s council president, did not specify whether new measures would extend sanctions against North Korea but three previous tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013 triggered waves of UN sanctions against the insular country.
This is the North’s fourth nuclear test since 2006, but if confirmed would be the first of an H-bomb. Hydrogen bombs are more technologically advanced than atomic weapons, using fusion – the merging of atoms – to unleash massive amounts of energy.
The US and others have however questioned the veracity of the claims from the secretive dictatorship.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said: “initial analysis was not consistent with North Korea’s claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test”.
He added: “Nothing that happened overnight has changed our view of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.”
The North Korean government released a statement following the test saying the test was a “measure for self-defence the DPRK has taken to firmly protect the sovereignty of the country and the vital right of the nation from the ever-growing nuclear threat and blackmail by the US-led hostile forces and to reliably safeguard the peace on the Korean Peninsula and regional security.
” Since the appearance of the word hostility in the world there has been no precedent of such deep-rooted, harsh and persistent policy as the hostile policy the US has pursued towards the DPRK.
“The US is a gang of cruel robbers which has worked hard to bring even a nuclear disaster to the DPRK, not content with having imposed the thrice-cursed and unheard-of political isolation, economic blockade and military pressure on it for the mere reason that it has differing ideology and social system and refuses to yield to the former’s ambition for aggression.
“The DPRK’s access to H-bomb of justice, standing against the US, the chieftain of aggression watching for a chance for attack on it with huge nukes of various types, is the legitimate right of a sovereign state for self-defence and a very just step no one can slander.”