N. Korea develops H-bomb, Kim Jong-un says
SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stated that his country has developed not only nuclear weapons but also hydrogen bombs, according to Pyongyang's state media Thursday.
He made the remark while inspecting a historic site for the communist nation's arms industry a day earlier, according to reports.
The North has been turned into a "powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb and H-bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation" thanks to tireless efforts by his late grandfather Kim Il-sung, founder of the nation, the Korean Central News Agency said in a report on Kim's "field guidance" at the Phyongchon Revolutionary Site in Pyongyang.
It marks the first time that Kim has publicly mentioned the North's development of an H-bomb, experts here noted.
"Kim has revealed on a number of occasions that North Korea possesses nuclear bombs. But this appears to be the first time that he talked about an H-bomb," Chang Yong-seok, a researcher at the Seoul National University Institute for Peace and Unification Studies said.
Lee Chun-geun, research fellow at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, was cautious.
"It's hard to regard North Korea as possessing an H-bomb. I think it seems to be developing it," he said.
Meanwhile, the North's young leader, who is ending his fourth year of ruling, called on the nation to step up efforts to promote the munitions industry.
The Phyongchon Revolutionary Site is intended to commemorate the North's first munitions factory set up there in 1945 at the instruction of Kim Il-sung.