North Korea announces hydrogen bomb testThe North Korean authorities say they have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb amid reports of a tremor near the main nuclear test site.
The North Korean authorities say they have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb amid reports of a tremor near the main nuclear test site.
State media announced the test after monitors detected a 5.1 magnitude quake close to the Punggye-ri site.
The North is thought to have conducted three previous underground nuclear tests there since 2006.
A hydrogen bomb uses fusion to create a blast far more powerful than that of a more basic atomic bomb.
In a surprise announcement a newsreader on North Korean state TV said: "The republic's first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00 am on January 6, 2016."
Last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed Pyongyang had developed a hydrogen bomb, although international experts were sceptical.
What is a hydrogen bomb?
- A weapon energised by the nuclear fusion of hydrogen isotopes in a chain reaction, developed in 1958 by the United States.
- Also known as a thermo-nuclear bomb, it is seen as a "cleaner" bomb than an atomic one as it has less radioactive fallout - but also much more powerful.
- Unlike an atomic bomb, powered by nuclear fission, a hydrogen bomb is powered by the fusion of lighter elements into heavier elements.
- Such bombs can be as small as a few feet long and can fit in warheads of ballistic missiles