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(LEAD) N.K. claims development of hydrogen bomb for ICBM

2017/09/03 07:27

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(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details)

SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has developed a hydrogen bomb which can be mounted on a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Pyongyang's state media claimed Sunday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected an H-bomb which can be fit on its ICBM during his visit to the Nuclear Weapons Institute, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The institute has succeeded in developing a "more developed nuke," bringing about a "signal turn" in the country's nuclear weaponization, according to the report.

Scientists "further upgraded its technical performance at a higher ultra-modern level on the basis of precious successes made in the first H-bomb test," the KCNA said.

The H-bomb can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attacks, it added.

In January 2016, North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test, which Pyongyang claimed to be a successful test of a hydrogen bomb. Outside experts said that it appeared to be a test of a boosted fission weapon, rather than an H-bomb.

North Korea has carried out five nuclear tests since 2006 including two last year. It is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon small enough to be mounted on an ICBM.

The announcement came amid heightened tensions after North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan last week.

In July, North Korea tested two ICBMs, which analysts say could put much of the U.S. mainland within range, including Los Angeles and Chicago.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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