The provocations and bravado of the North Korean government continued with a report from DPRK Today, a state-controlled media outlet that uses the official acronym for the North in its name. The news release from DPRK Today speaks to the varying types of nuclear weapons that North Korea claims to possess, and speaks in technical terms about the North’s nuclear capability. North Korea has yet to prove that it can successfully launch a nuclear tipped missle of any kind, however, the North is constantly working to improve its nuclear arsenal.
The report claims that the hydrogen weapon tested by North Korea has a greater yield than hydrogen bombs created by the former Soviet Union. “Our hydrogen bomb is much bigger than the one developed by the Soviet Union,” DPRK Today reported Sunday. “If this H-bomb were to be mounted on an inter-continental ballistic missile and fall on Manhattan in New York City, all the people there would be killed immediately and the city would burn down to ashes,” said Cho Hyong Il, who was identified in the report as a nuclear scientist. Cho was quoted as saying, “North Korea’s hydrogen bomb surpasses our imagination, because it is many times as powerful as anything the Soviet Union had. The H-bomb developed by the Soviet Union in the past was able to smash windows of buildings 1,000 kms away and the heat was strong enough to cause third-degree burns 100 kms away,” the report continued.
Nuclear weapons experts dispute the North’s claim that it has developed a hydrogen bomb, because the most recent nuclear test in January produced seismic waves identical to three previous nuclear tests. In February, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the launch of what North Korea said was a rocket that put a satellite into orbit. Many experts claim that the launch was not designed to launch a satellite, which it did, but was, instead, a test of the North’s long range ballistic missle capabilities.
Kim’s regime has become increasingly erratic, firing missiles into the Sea of Japan, and issuing a new threat to the U.S. and South Korea almost every day. International condemnation of the nuclear test and missle launch has resulted in the toughest sanctions in 20 years being imposed on the North by the United Nations Security Council.
Nuclear weapons experts agree that it is possible that the North’s ballistic missles could have a range to allow them to reach the West coast of the United States, it is still highly unlikely that North Korea would have a missle capable of reaching Manhattan. South Korea’s Defense Ministry urged Pyongyang to stop its threats and provocations. The South Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement today, in response to additional agitation from the North, which read, “If the North continues to make provocations despite the stern warnings made by our military, it is inevitable for us to roll out a strict response that may lead to the destruction of the Pyongyang regime.”