Something tells me Pyongyang might be overselling this a wee bit. North Korea’s mission to the United Nations bragged about successfully building a hydrogen bomb, which they say has the capability of “wiping out the whole territory of the US.” They argue that they need this capability to fend off an attack by the US.
Well, maybe they have an H-bomb, but maybe they don’t:
North Korea’s U.N. mission claimed Wednesday that its successful nuclear bomb test showed that it could now “wipe out” the United States, as the U.N. Security Council grappled with a response to the underground blast.
North Korea called it a hydrogen bomb and said the test “scientifically proved the power of the smaller H-bomb,” though the United States and others expressed skepticism that Pyongyang actually tested a hydrogen bomb for the first time. Nonetheless, whatever the North detonated underground will likely push the country closer toward a fully functional nuclear arsenal, which it still is not thought to have. …
North Korea’s U.N. mission circulated a report from the country’s news agency saying the Jan. 6 test wasn’t to “threaten” or “provoke” anyone but was indispensable to build a nuclear force “to cope with the U.S. ever-more undisguised hostile policy” toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name.
It said North Korean scientists and technicians “are in high spirit to detonate H-bombs … capable of wiping out the whole territory of the U.S. all at once as it persistently moves to stifle the DPRK.”
The nuclear test still has analysts perplexed. The White House concluded that it wasn’t an H-bomb, but as ABC reports, not all of the evidence is back yet — and it might never be clear from secondary testing just what the North Korean regime tested. Bob Woodruff reports that their missile capacity can only reach Alaska and Hawaii anyway:
The increased threat for now might not be an H-bomb, but that the test advanced Pyongyang’s technology in miniaturization. That would make their missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, which at the moment the Kim regime can’t do. In that case, their throw distance isn’t a threat to the US as much as it is a real threat isn’t to Japan. North Korea’s missiles can easily reach their long-term nemesis already, and Japan might not want to wait until the Kim regime can successfully arm a missile with a nuclear warhead.
The UN is expected to add more sanctions to the long list already imposed on the DPRK. Kim Jong-un’s father used these provocations to get concessions, but this time it looks as if the new Dear Leader is going out of his way to provoke tougher conditions on his country. That’s curious, and it will be interesting to see whether the UN accommodates that — or backs down.