With news that North Korea has detonated a hydrogen bomb overnight, it’s a good time to flashback to less than a month ago.
On Dec. 9, North Korea made the announcement on State-run media that they had developed hydrogen bombs. Quickly the Obama Administration responded:
WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) — The White House said Thursday it doubts North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s claims that the communist nation has developed hydrogen bombs.
“We certainly are concerned about the policies and intent and destabilizing actions of the North Korean regime. At this point, you know, the information that we have access to calls into serious question those claims,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a regular briefing of the North’s H-bomb claims.
“But we take very seriously the risks and the threat that is posed by the North Korean regime and their ambitions to develop a nuclear weapon that doesn’t just threaten our close allies in South Korea, but could have a pretty destabilizing impact and even a national security threat to other countries in the region,” he said.
According to Pyongyang’s state media, the North’s leader said the country has become a “powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb and H-bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation.”
It was believed to be the first time that Kim has publicly mentioned the North’s development of an H-bomb, which uses more advanced technology and is considered much more powerful than conventional nuclear weapons based either on weapons-grade plutonium or highly enriched uranium.