North Korea: Kim Jong Un observes missile-ready hydrogen bomb

Sunday, 03 Sep, 2017

Her comments came before the state-run KCNA news agency reported that Pyongyang had developed a more advanced nuclear weapon and that Kim had inspected a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded onto a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

"There are controversies as to whether North Korea can (yet) load a nuclear warhead onto an ICBM or if (its warheads) can re-enter the atmosphere", said Kim Dong-yeob, a former South Korean naval officer and researcher at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies.

Kim was also quoted as saying that North Korea can now produce as many powerful nuclear weapons "as it wants".

The North had "further upgraded its technical performance at a higher ultra-modern level on the basis of precious successes made in the first H-bomb test", KCNA said, adding that Kim "set forth tasks to be fulfilled in the research into nukes".

Japan has been urging Washington to propose new Security Council sanctions, which diplomats said could target North Korean laborers working overseas, oil supplies and textile exports. The action probably will increase already high tensions between the Trump administration and Kim Jong Un's regime.

US President Donald Trump earlier warned North Korea of "fire and fury". "The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years".

He "warmly congratulated the secretaries of primary organizations and young officials of the youth league of the KPA who fully demonstrate the resourcefulness and bravery of youngsters at the posts standing guard over the homeland and at major sites for building a socialist power", it said in an English-language dispatch.

Kim's move is seen as showing his resolve to focus on advancing nuclear weapons and missiles to pressure the USA and take an upper hand in dealing with Washington.

Meanwhile, the leaders of South Korea and the United States agreed in a phone call on Friday to improve Seoul's military deterrence towards the North, following the Tuesday IRBM launch over Japan.

Kim's regime has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit atop its missiles, surpassing a key technological hurdle, the Washington Post reported August 8, citing an Defense Intelligence Agency analysis completed in July.

North Korea says it has developed a more advanced nuclear weapon that can be loaded on to a ballistic missile.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered talks to Kim in July, but North Korea hasn't responded.

The drills, involving four USA stealth F-35B jets as well as South Korean and Japanese fighter jets, came at the end of annual U.S.

Pyongyang launched a missile over Japan last week in apparent signal to the USA that the country would not back down over its missiles program.