In a first on Tuesday, North Korea has admitted it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, announcing the trial had been a “complete success.”
Pyongyang’s statement followed the detection of a 5.1 seismic disturbance along North Korea’s northeast coast near the Sea of Japan, which is in the region known to house the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility.
“This is the self-defensive measure we have to take to defend our right to live in the face of the nuclear threats and blackmail by the United States and to guarantee the security of the Korean Peninsula,” a female North Korean announcer said, reading the statement on Central Television, the state-run network.
The White House responded saying it expected “North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments.”
The House of Representatives immediately reacted, signaling it intends to multiply economic sanctions on top of existing banking restrictions, an arms embargo and penalties on individuals and firms associated with North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program.
Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee offered specifics in a statement released on Wednesday:
“The bill set for a vote next week would prohibit North Korea’s access to hard currency and other measures to block and seize assets related to nuclear proliferation, illicit activities, and human rights violations that are the hallmark of the Kim regime.”
Following revelations North Korea detonated another nuclear device, the United Nations Security Council announced it was weighing its own sanctions described as “further and significant measures.”
In response to Pyongyang’s detonation of a hydrogen bomb, South Korea has re-established propaganda broadcasts from mobile units along the demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel.
Yonhap News Agency reported South Korean armed forces were also placed on high alert and Seoul had placed missiles, heavy artillery and armored units near the North Korean border to repel any attack from the communist regime.
“We hope that our fellow Koreans in the North will be able to live in [a] society that doesn’t invade individual lives as soon as possible. Countries run by dictatorships even try to control human instincts,” read a propaganda broadcast officials revealed to South Korean media.
[Washington Post] [New York Times] [The Guardian] [Photo courtesy ABCcolumbia.com]