Pyongyang’s announcement Wednesday was met with widespread skepticism, but whatever the North detonated in its fourth nuclear test, another round of tough international sanctions looms for the defiant, impoverished country.
The test likely pushed Pyongyang’s scientists and engineers closer to their goal of building a warhead small enough to place on a missile that can reach the U.S. mainland. But South Korea’s spy agency thought the estimated explosive yield from the explosion was much smaller than what even a failed H-bomb detonation would produce.
The test was met with a burst of jubilation and pride in Pyongyang. A North Korean television anchor, reading a typically propaganda-heavy statement, said a test of a “miniaturized” hydrogen bomb had been a “perfect success” that elevated the country’s “nuclear might to the next level.”
A large crowd celebrated in front of Pyongyang’s main train station as the announcement was read on a big video screen, with people taking videos or photos of the screen on their mobile phones and applauding and cheering.
In Seoul and elsewhere there was high-level worry. South Korean President Park Geun-hye ordered her military to bolster its combined defense posture with U.S. forces and called the test a “grave provocation” and “an act that threatens our lives and future.” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “We absolutely cannot allow this.”
Washington and nuclear experts have been skeptical about past North Korean claims about H-bombs. A confirmed test would further worsen already abysmal relations between Pyongyang and its neighbors and lead to a strong push for tougher sanctions on North Korea at the United Nations. The Security Council quickly announced an emergency meeting.
It could take weeks before the true nature of the test is confirmed by outside experts — if they are able to do so at all. North Korea goes to great lengths to conceal its tests by conducting them underground and tightly sealing off tunnels or any other vents through which radioactive residue and blast-related noble gases could escape into the atmosphere.
U.S. Air Force aircraft designed to detect the evidence of a nuclear test could be deployed from a U.S. base on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Japanese media said Tokyo has also mobilized its own reconnaissance aircraft for sorties over the Sea of Japan to try to collect atmospheric data.
The test was unexpected in part because North Korea’s previous nuclear test was in early 2013 and Kim Jong Un did not mention nuclear weapons in his annual New Year’s speech. Some outside analysts speculated Kim was worried about deteriorating ties with China, the North’s last major ally, which has shown greater frustration at provocations and a possible willingness to allow stronger U.N. sanctions.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that Beijing “firmly opposes” Pyongyang’s purported test and is monitoring the environment on its border with North Korea near the test site.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Main Street says
MacArthur was correct 64 years back. Leaving N. Korea as a dictatorship is still a threat to the world. Truman was a great president. He didn’t want to start WWIII. However the Russians were withdrawing support of the war. The Red Chinese were wary of the high casualties they were suffering. MacArthur’s plan for total victory was achievable.
Its all Obama’s fault.
I think we should have went all the way there and against the Soviet Union during World War 2 there was no reason for any country to be ruled by Russia we should have let them return to be in seven countries. We had the dome and we should have dropped it on Russia to let them know and then went in and took over.
I think the former Soviet Union suffered greatly while being a huge help in defeating Nazi Germany. They didn’t deserve, nor was it conceivable to, punish them, then or now.
Very true Gaffer, but it would have been nice if Russia had repaid us for the all the aircraft, tanks, even some Naval vessels we never got back. One vessel I remember watching on the news had all the bronze stripped from it and it was not sea worthy any longer. So much for lend lease and trusting the Russians right?
harry was a coward and an idiot. he has the audacity to fire a 4 star who WON the pacific and was a West Point graduate because he was afraid of China? He didn’t WANT to win Korea. We lost in Korea, we have been losing for 60 years. We could have won Korea. Russia was not going to start WWIII they were NOT that stupid. We lost Viet nam for the same reason. LBJ Nixon and Kennedy were afraid of the Russians and the Chinese. Who were Nothing in Viet Nam. We have been fighting wars with no plans to wine for 60 years. WTH? War has only one purpose; to win and destroy the enemy’s capacity to wage war! Apparently not anymore. Lessons form Korea and Viet Nam have NOT been learned.
One never knows what lay down the paths not taken: so forget your regrets, and move on.
WW2 IN THE PACIFIC HAD 2 COMMANDERS, DID YOU FORGET NIMITIZ?
Main Street says
I agree with most of what you said. However, Harry S. Truman was one of the most experienced combat veteran presidents that we ever had. He saw tremendous action in WWI.
If Truman has not pulled MacArthur as Commander….North Korea would have been Defeated…Just as he did to Japan at the end of WWII…
Justin W says
China may be realizing that any weapon North Korea develops for use against the United States could also be used against China.
We need to consider that some of this may be nothing more than a clever con game to try to convince the rest of the world that North Korea should be treated as one of the world superpowers. Maybe we should make adequately feeding your citizens one of the standards of being considered a superpower. I had hoped the young leader of North Korea would have been interested in moving beyond the crazed policies of his father and grandfather and toward having his country become a respectable member of the world community.
Eddie Earley says
Yes, you would think………..but it’s all about bragging rights.
LIKE FATHER LIKE SON/THE APPLE DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE.
Don’t forget that the spoiled brat had his own uncle assassinated. Talk about a baby face (remember baby face Nelson)
The Justice of a flesh and blood being is not the Justice of God. God cannot die in body going to dust. People with blood in them will go to dust. We need to be good to people now to be good to them forever. Love people for pity sakes. That is what God wants us to do that. Love is not boom.
I find it amazing our Father could love us heathen people. We are to love but not to embrace the soldiers of evil. Evil is here and it is only going to get worse, the time is short. It is time for the prayer warriors to come out and start praying fervently and pleading with our Lord on behalf of our Nation. Things things must come to pass, just as the Lord said it would..from…praying in Washington State!
Watch Zeitgeist on You-tube and stop worrying.! ! Remember, Truth IS Authouity, Authority is not TRUTH ! ! ! Yea we all have lessons to learn and need to treat each other right but you can stop the time is short stuff … People been saying it since the cross was conceived.
We WERE talking about N Korea’s A-Bomb before it got all Zealot and what not….
COMMUNISTS DON’T RECOGNIZE GOD.
The Justice of a flesh and blood being is not the Justice of God. God cannot die in body going to dust. People with blood in them will go to dust. We need to be good to people now to be good to them forever. Love people for pity sakes. That is what God wants us to do. Love is not boom.
if they had a bomb we would have detected it, so would SK, Japan and the Phillipines. they are all talk. All it takes is one nuclear submarine with nine nukes. there will BE no NK. Better yet a wing of navy jets with neutrons takes care of NK and gets the people out of their misery. Time to get RID of the savages running the country.
north korea is a bunch of babies yes and in need of attention…….. hard to say if they did get some bombs made?……and yess we shoud have let McAuthur do his job when we were there…… though realize like General Powell said you break it you own it…….. kinda like Iraq……… taking out the brain damaged government……….. you never know what will pop in its place…..sad thing but the people need to take care of their own country like Isis…… the islamist needs to take care of their own as well….. we only feed the fire…….. they must come and revolt………..take over NK………..The thing we must watch is our government its main job is not to take care of us…….. our government is here to Protect us from foreign influence and harm…….we are state governed not federally governed….. we are the United States not the individual states feds must follow the constitution not make up rules as they go ……………to squeeze us with unfair taxes and laws………..We live in a great country best one I know of and proud to be here………but we must remember our past and how we got here………. generations go by…….. and lose site of what has been bled for…………..Our fore fathers fought for liberty and less taxation…freedom of religion……equality…..all people are equal…..we have come far we are a imperfect nation though we still have the best system around……in time big money has corrupted our system………it needs a draino flush time………get rid of all these carreer politicians in it for themselves and golden parachutes……..the congress and needs to get back to the people and for the people not for big money and stock markets……the United States is a great country with a nasty cold and we need to get well and be a example to the world…. not to run it but to be respected once again…….and realize This USA is strong and will not be politically correct in its judgments. May this year bring forth in our government a cleaning and purify itself thru the people……….and other nations will see the Strength in us and that we will not be intiminated……. God Bless America