Everything you need to know about the nuclear bomb North Korea has tested

North Korea’s fractious approach towards international relations has continued as the country conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date.

So, what do we know about the bomb?

How powerful was it?

Kim Jong Un inspects a warhead
(AP)

Though the precise strength of the blast has yet to be determined, the artificial earthquake it caused was several times stronger than tremors generated by its previous tests.

It reportedly shook buildings in China and Russia.

Officials in Seoul put the magnitude at 5.7 while the US Geological Survey said it was a magnitude 6.3.

Measured on the Richter scale, earthquakes which are over magnitude 6 typically only occur globally a little over 100 times per year.

How does it compare?

A South Korean man looks at the Earthquake readings
(Lee Jin-man/AP)

The North claims the blast was caused by a hydrogen bomb – a type several times more powerful than atomic bombs such as those which were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War.

The Korea Meteorological Administration, South Korea’s weather agency, has claimed the bomb was five to six times stronger than the North’s fifth test, which took place in September last year.

Where and when was it carried out?

A man studies a map of the area
(Lee Jin-man/AP)

The test was carried out at 12.29pm local time at the Punggye-ri site where North Korea has conducted nearly all of its past nuclear tests.

North Korea’s state-run television broadcast a special bulletin on Sunday afternoon to announce the test.

It said leader Kim Jong Un attended a meeting of the ruling party’s presidium and signed the go-ahead order.

Where can the North fire missiles to?

A missile is launched on TV in North Korea
(Kim Kwang Hyon/AP)

Although it’s unclear whether North Korea is capable of fitting nuclear warheads inside them yet, it does have missiles capable of reaching considerable distances – here’s a video which may help explain.

North Korea in July test-launched two ICBMs that are believed to be capable of reaching the mainland United States.

What has the North said?

A shot of a news bulletin showing Kim Jong Un
(AP)

The North called the test a “perfect success” while its neighbours condemned the blast.

Pyongyang says its missile development is part of a defensive effort to build a viable nuclear deterrent that can target US cities.

What has been the reaction internationally?

Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe on screens
(Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

The nuclear test is the North’s first since US President Donald Trump assumed office in January.

Trump has talked tough over the North’s missile tests, including a comment that Pyongyang would see fire, fury and power unlike any the world had ever witnessed if it continued threats – and his latest reaction has continued in a similar vein.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the test “absolutely unacceptable”.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron condemned “in the strongest possible terms” North Korea’s sixth nuclear test.

Macron said he “calls on the members of the United Nations Security Council to quickly react to this new violation by North Korea of international law”.

Emmanuel Macron
(Vadim Ghirda/AP)

Boris Johnson condemned the “reckless” North Korean nuclear test and warned that being able to fit a warhead to a missile would present a “new order of threat” from Kim Jong Un’s regime.

The Foreign Secretary said the UK’s view was that “peaceful diplomatic means” are the best way to resolve the crisis in the Korean peninsula.

File photo of Boris Johnson and Theresa May
(Leon Neal/PA)

The Russian Foreign Ministry said North Korea’s claim to have tested a hydrogen bomb “deserves the strongest condemnation”.


 

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