Korea claims to have developed ICBM h-bomb as Kim Jong-un observes

Korea claims to have developed ICBM h-bomb as Kim Jong-un observes

When it carried out its fifth test, in September 2016, it did not say it was a hydrogen bomb.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called emergency meetings of their national security councils after the test, which is outlawed by United Nations sanctions.

"Today's test is a highly risky affront to the entire worldwide community", Mr Brownlee said on Sunday night.

It prompted President Donald Trump to issue a warning of fire and fury on the North, while Pyongyang threatened to fire missiles towards the United States territory of Guam.

The nuclear test is understood to be the largest yet and follows two last year, as well as a string of missile tests this year.

A meeting of Seoul's National Security Council has been convened, national news agency Yonhap reported.

"North Korea has a choice".

"It can continue on this path, inviting further pressure and isolation and entrenching poverty and misery for its own people", he said. Or it can choose membership of the worldwide community and the security and prosperity that comes with it.

Sky News' Asia Correspondent, Katie Stallard, said: The significant point to take out of all of this is in terms of what response we see from the United States.

The hydrogen bomb test ordered by leader Kim Jong Un was a "perfect success" and was a "meaningful" step in completing the country's nuclear weapons programme, state television said.

North Korea carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday, Japan and South Korea said, hours after Pyongyang said it had developed an advanced hydrogen bomb that possesses "great destructive power".

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USA monitors measured a 6.3-magnitude tremor near the North's main testing site, which South Korean experts said was five to six times stronger than that from the 10-kiloton test carried out a year ago. But Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo could not rule out the possibility that it was ahydrogen bomb.

South Korean authorities said it appeared to be artificial, consistent with a nuclear test. In July this year, it apparently conducted its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles tests.

Experts have said for months that another nuclear test was likely on the way, with satellite imagery revealing that a new tunnel had been dug earlier this year.

Kim was also quoted as saying that North Korea can now produce as many powerful nuclear weapons "as it wants".

"That scale is to the level where anyone can say a hydrogen bomb test".

Kim visited the country's Nuclear Weapons Institute and "watched an H-bomb to be loaded into new ICBM", KCNA said. Pictures of Kim at the Nuclear Weapons Institute showed the young leader, dressed in a black suit, examining a metal casing with a shape akin to a peanut shell.

In hydrogen bombs, fusion - the merging of atoms - is used to unleash energy, whereas atomic bombs use nuclear fission, or the splitting of atoms.

It flew a Hwasong-12 over northern Japan last week, the first such overflight by a missile capable of carrying nukes, in a launch Kim described as a "meaningful prelude" to containing Guam, the home of major USA military facilities, and more ballistic missile tests targeting the Pacific.

The developments are raising already high tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in Washington that the North is getting closer to its goal of an arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can reach the U.S. mainland. He said the president wanted to be briefed on each of what Mr Mattis called "many military options" for action against North Korea.

The North regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.

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