North Korea said on Sunday it has developed an advanced hydrogen bomb which can be loaded into the country’s new Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to the reports by country’s state media.
During a visit to the Nuclear Weapons Institute, leader Kim Jong Un “watched an H-bomb to be loaded into new ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile),” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
“The H-bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens kiloton to hundreds kiloton, is a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals,” KCNA report added.
“All components of the H-bomb were homemade and all the processes … were put on the Juche basis, thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
Juche is North Korea’s homegrown ideology of self-reliance that is a mix of Marxism and extreme nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader’s grandfather. It says its weapons programs are needed to counter U.S. aggression.
Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea has been long pursuing a miniaturized nuclear device light enough to fit on its long-range ballistic missiles, without affecting its range and making it capable of surviving re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
There was no independent confirmation of the claims.
Experts are sceptical and said the device is more likely a boosted nuclear device, referring to an atomic bomb which uses some hydrogen isotopes to boost explosive yield.
The report by the official KCNA news agency comes amid heightened regional tension following Pyongyang’s two tests of ICBMs in July, the overfly by a Hwasong-12 intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan and the launch of three short range ballistic missiles (SRBM) to the Sea of Japan last month.
The ICBM, North Korea is developing, could potentially fly about 10,000 km (6,200 miles), putting many parts of the mainland United States within range