North Korean officials concluded their sixth nuclear test and what is believed to be the first since President Donald Trump took office on Sunday (Sept. 3rd). The news was originally reported by North Korean state-run television, with an accompanying report stating North Korean Chairman and Democratic Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un had ordered the test.
Pyongyang officials claimed the device was a hydrogen bomb, which could be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) theoretically making it capable of reaching the United States.
In a standoff that has seen Jong-Un and President Donald Trump essentially behave like petulant children with access to nuclear launch codes, Trump’s obligatory Twitter response was almost measured by his usual standards.
North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2017
..North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2017
South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2017
“North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test,” Trump confirmed in a series of tweets. “Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States. North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”
A report by the Washington Post estimated the device North Korea detonated was “almost seven times the size of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima,” with Dr. Vipin Narang calling the nuclear bomb a “city buster.”
For comparison’s sake, Harry S. Truman went on record as saying the bomb the United States dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 contained more power than 20,000 tons of TNT.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the blast caused a 4.1-magnitude seismic event—the equivalent to a small to moderate earthquake—in the North Korean locality of Sungjibaegam.
Other countries aside from the U.S. are weighing in, with China’s Foreign Ministry repudiating North Korea with an official statement including a request to stop its “wrong” actions.
Russia and South Korea have also issued statements, with Russian officials stating the eschewing of international law “deserves the strongest condemnation” for “creating a serious threat.”
It should be noted that there’s no way to verify if North Korea's claims that the device detonated was a hydrogen bomb or if the device can indeed be loaded onto an ICBM.