North Korea’s nuclear program has always been a source of tremendous concern worldwide for more than 20 years.
The state is currently believed to have conducted four underground nuclear tests. After years and years of posturing over the delivery of American aid culminated in October 2006 with an announcement made by Pyongyang in which it was stated that it had carried out the first underground nuclear explosion. It was an explosion of a device based on plutonium, rather than enriched uranium. However, it was not a powerful one, measuring less than one kiloton, which has raised questions about the sophistication and effectiveness of the weapon.
On 25th of May 2009, barely a month after North Korea walked out of the international talks on its nuclear programme, it carried out its second underground nuclear test, which was said to be more powerful than the first. The US Geological Survey said a 4.7-magnitute quake was detected, six miles underground, a clear indication of a nuclear explosion.
In the early hours of 12 February 2013, unusual seismic activity was detected around the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site. It was further on confirmed that this third nuclear test was carried out at a high level in a safe and perfect manner, using a miniaturised and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than the previous ones. The reference to „miniaturised” stoked fears that Pyongyang was much closer to producing a device small enough to fit in a long-range missile.
Recently, North Korea had successfully tested a „minaturised hydrogen bomb” underground on 6th of January,2016. They described it as an „act of self-defence” against the US. American and South Koran seismologists detected a 5.1-magnitude quake located close to the nuclear test site, which strengthens the hypothesis of this event.
This demonstration comes a month after North Korea stated that they own the necessary technology for building a hydrogen bomb. However, at that time, this type of announcements were seen with a lot of skepticism.
„I don’t believe that they own a hydrogen bomb at this moment, but I also don’t believe that they are going to continue using the old technologies”
said Jeffrey Lewis from Middleburry Institute of International Studies, Monterey.
Moreover, the skepticism revolves around this hyrdogen bomb, as it should have been much more powerful than the atomic ones.
„The obtained explosion should have been 10 times larger, which means that Kim Jong-un is either lying, stating that they used a hydrogen bomb, when in fact they simply tasted a more advanced atomic bomb, or the hydrogen one didn’t function properly,” said Bruce Bennet, Rand Corportaion analist.
The US rejected North Korea’s claims, but they admitted that the situation should be watched over so that the scientists and government information agencies can find out what really happened.
„We are up to date with the current seismic activity from the Korean nuclear test site and with everything that Pyongyang states. Even though we cannot confirm their words, we condemn any violation of ONU’s Security Council and we ask North Korea one more time to obey to the international obligations,” said Ned Price, Spokesman of House National Security Council
What really concerns me is that our government is just sitting there, doing nothing, while North Korea’s nuclear program is becoming more and more dangerous.
We have long had our suspicions and doubts regarding national security and how well our government is really protecting us. However, it seems that they are more interested in Arabian oil than in our safety, otherwise they would not allow such events to pass by unnoticed.
Do you think we should be concerned with North Korea’s nuclear program? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.