The North Korean government has stated that the 5.1 magnitude quake event was a successful hydrogen nuclear bomb test. Hydrogen bombs are a more powerful type of nuclear weapon than the North has previously tested, one that North Korea first claimed to have developed in December.
In a brief announcement, North Korea said that the test had been a “complete success.”
“If there’s no invasion on our sovereignty we will not use nuclear weapon,” the North Korean state news agency said. “This H-bomb test brings us to a higher level of nuclear power.”
A hydrogen bomb is also known as a thermonuclear bomb, and is a step up from the atomic bomb, being able to produce a much more powerful blast.
In its three previous nuclear tests, it had used less powerful plutonium-based technology, similar to the bomb that the U.S. dropped over Nagasaki during World War II that took the lives of more than 200,000.
(Original Article – before the blast was confirmed) The United States Geological Service reported a 5.1 magnitude quake that South Korea said was 49 kms (30 miles) from the Punggye-ri site where North Korea has conducted nuclear tests in the past.
South Korea’s weather service reports that the 4.2 magnitude quake has an “artificial nature”. The “artificial nature” of the quake was also confirmed by the Japanese Ministry of defense.
“We suspect a man-made quake and are analyzing the scale and epicenter of the quake with the geoscience and mineral resource institute of South Korea,” a Korea Meteorological Administration official told Reuters by phone.
US seismologists say that the epicenter was located in the Pekam county, Yangkang province.
Voice of America News Correspondent in Beijing, Bill Ide tweeted that the China Earthquake Administration also confirmed a magnitude 4.9 at a depth of 0km in North Korea.
While the USGS put the depth of the quake at 10km, the South Korean agency, like China said it was near the surface.