North Korea's January 6, 2016, Nuclear Test [January 7, 2016]   [open pdf - 92KB]

"North Korea announced that it successfully tested a 'hydrogen bomb' (its fourth nuclear test) on January 6, 2016. The official statement also called the device an experimental or 'pilot H-bomb.' It emphasized that North Korea would continue its policy of both building up its nuclear weapons program and developing its economy in parallel, and said that North Korea would not proliferate nuclear weapons to others. The statement reiterated that North Korea would not suspend or dismantle its nuclear weapons program unless the United States changed its 'hostile policy' toward the country. Observers have been anticipating a new nuclear test by North Korea since a December 2015 statement by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claimed that the country had a hydrogen bomb. Earlier statements by North Korean scientists cited fusion technology development, the basis for a hydrogen bomb, in the country. The U.S. Geological Survey detected a non-earthquake seismic event with a magnitude of 5.1 near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea. The Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said in a January 6 statement and press briefing that its monitors had detected a seismic event at the same North Korean location as the February 2013 nuclear test, and that the 'seismic signals are largely consistent with those picked up during the last announced nuclear test on 12 February 2013.' The U.S. government has said that it was a nuclear test, but a White House spokesman said that initial data was 'not consistent' with North Korean claims of detonating a hydrogen bomb."

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN10428
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
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