North Korea Says It Conducted 'Successful' Hydrogen Bomb Test

Seol/South Korea; Jan.6:  North Korea announced on Wednesday that it had successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test, a development that, if confirmed, would marking a stunning step forward in its nuclear development.

"The republic's first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00am on January 6, 2016, based on the strategic determination of the Workers' Party," a state television news reader announced.

"With the perfect success of our historic H-bomb, we have joined the rank of advanced nuclear states," the announcer said, adding that the test was of a "miniaturised" device.

The surprise test was personally ordered by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and came just two days before his birthday.

Only last month' during remarks made during an inspection tour, Kim had suggested Pyongyang had already developed a hydrogen bomb although the claim was greeted with scepticism by international experts.

A hydrogen, or thermonuclear device, uses fusion in a chain reaction that results in a far more powerful explosion.

The announcement will leave the international community scrambling to verify the accuracy of the North's claims.

Most experts had assumed Pyongyang was years from developing a thermonuclear bomb, while assessments were divided on how far it had gone in mastering the technology to miniaturise a device that could fit on a ballistic missile.

While vowing to stick by a no-first use policy, Wednesday's statement said Pyongyang would continue to pursue an advanced nuclear strike capability.

"As long as the vicious anti-North policy of the US persists, we will never stop development of our nuclear programme," it said.

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