An emergency meeting has been set by the UN Security Council after North Korea claims that it has conducted a hydrogen bomb test.
The White House says it can’t confirm the test, but says the U.S. would condemn any violations of UN Security Council resolutions.
North Korea’s claim came after an artificial magnitude 5.1 quake was detected in the region Wednesday.
A statement read on North Korean television said a “miniaturized” hydrogen bomb had been tested to raise the communist country’s “nuclear might to the next level” in defending itself against the US and other enemies.
China, North Korea’s main ally, says it “firmly opposes” Pyongyang’s purported bomb test and is monitoring the environment on its border with the North near the test site.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that the reported test was performed in defiance of the international community and urged North Korea to refrain from acts that might worsen tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Hua said environment bureau officials were monitoring conditions near the border, but air quality near the bomb site was within the normal range.
While she made no mention of measures to respond to a test, analysts say Pyongyang’s proceeding against Beijing’s objections would seriously harm their already strained relationship. Despite that, China remains the North’s most important important ally and trade partner.
The president of neighbouring South Korea is ordering its military to bolster its combined defense posture with U.S. forces.
Photo: Screen caption from North Korea TV