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South Korea has decided to resume loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts into North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s claim to have tested a hydrogen bomb.

The move has led North Korea to begin similar broadcasts of its own, the South’s Yonhap News Agency said.

Meanwhile, the UN has agreed to draw up new measures against North Korea.

Although there is skepticism that North Korea carried out the test as claimed, its actions have been condemned internationally.

If the underground test is confirmed, it would be North Korea’s fourth nuclear test and its first of the H-bomb, which is more powerful than an atomic bomb.

South Korea turned the speakers back on at noon local time on January 8.

The loudspeakers – at 11 locations along the border – blast Korean pop, news and weather reports and criticisms of the North over the border.South Korea loudspeaker propaganda

The broadcasts irritate the authorities in Pyongyang, and North Korea has previously threatened to use force to stop them.

Seoul agreed to stop them last year in a deal with the North to resolve particularly high tensions after a border skirmish.

However, presidential security official Cho Tae-yong announced on January 7 that they would resume, saying North Korea’s test claim had been a “grave violation” of the deal.

On January 7, the US said President Barack Obama and the leaders of South Korea and Japan had “agreed to work together to forge a united and strong international response to North Korea’s reckless behavior”.

South Korea’s presidential office said the international community “must make sure that North Korea pays the corresponding price” for the nuclear test, reported Yonhap news agency.

South Korea has also begun limiting entry to the Kaesong industrial park in North Korea, which is jointly run by both countries. Only those directly involved in operations there will be allowed to enter from the South, said Seoul’s Unification Ministry.

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe said the test was “a serious threat to our nation’s security and absolutely cannot be tolerated”.

He told parliament Japan would “deal with this situation in a firm manner through the co-operation with the United Nations Security Council”.

Shinzo Abe also added that Japan might take unilateral action, saying it is “considering measures unique to our nation”, without detailing what those measures might be.

Hydrogen bombs are more powerful and technologically advanced than atomic weapons, using fusion – the merging of atoms – to unleash massive amounts of energy.

Atomic bombs, like those that devastated two Japanese cities in World War Two, use fission, or the splitting of atoms.

Many experts, including those from South Korea and the US, say the estimated power of January 6 blast fell far short of what would be expected from a hydrogen bomb.

Some analysts have suggested it is possible Pyongyang tested a “boosted” atomic bomb, which uses some fusion fuel to increase the yield of the fission reaction.

The US and nearby countries including Japan are carrying out atmospheric sampling, hoping to find leaked radioactive material, which would give clues as to what kind of device was tested.

Correspondents say it took about 55 days after the last test to be able to determine the exact nature of it.


The UN Security Council has announced it will begin work immediately on new measures against North Korea, after Pyongyang claimed it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

The council condemned the test, saying “a clear threat to international peace and security continues to exist”.

This is North Korea’s fourth nuclear test since 2006, but if confirmed would be the first of an H-bomb.

However, the US has joined nuclear experts in questioning whether the blast was large enough for such a test.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said “initial analysis was not consistent with North Korea’s claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test”.

Josh Earnest added: “Nothing that has occurred in the last 24 hours has caused the United States government to change our assessment of North Korea’s technical and military capabilities.”

The Security Council held an emergency session on January 6. It was called by the US, Japan and South Korea.

Uruguay’s UN Ambassador Elbio Rosselli, current president of the council, said: “The members… recalled that they have previously expressed their determination to take further significant measures in the event of another [North Korea] nuclear test.

“In line with this commitment and the gravity of this violation, [they] will begin to work immediately on such measures in a new Security Council resolution.”North Korea hydrogen bomb 2016

Josh Earnest said North Korea’s isolation had “deepened as they have sought to engage in increasingly provocative acts”.

Japan’s ambassador to the UN, Motohide Yoshikawa, called for a swift and robust new UN resolution.

Motohide Yoshikawa said: “The authority and credibility of the Security Council will be put in question if it does not take these measures.”

However, Motohide Yoshikawa and other members have not spelled out what they will be or when the resolution could be adopted.

Russia’s UN ambassador said it would be going “too far” to say Moscow supported further sanctions.

North Korea’s tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013 triggered UN sanctions, with 20 entities and 12 individuals on a UN blacklist.

If an H-bomb test were confirmed, it would mark a major upgrade in North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

Hydrogen bombs are more powerful and technologically advanced than atomic weapons, using fusion – the merging of atoms – to unleash massive amounts of energy.

Atomic bombs, like the kind that devastated two Japanese cities in World War Two, use fission, or the splitting of atoms.

A South Korean politician, Lee Cheol-woo, said he was briefed by the country’s intelligence agency that the blast “probably falls short” of a hydrogen detonation.

Suspicions that North Korea had carried out a nuclear test were raised when an earthquake was registered near the Punggye-ri nuclear site in North Korea at 10:00 Pyongyang time, with the tremors rattling Chinese border cities.

Hours later, in a surprise announcement, a newsreader on North Korean state TV said: “The republic’s first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00 am on January 6, 2016.”

A note signed by North Korea leader Kim Jong-un authorizing the test said 2016 should begin with the “stirring explosive sound” of a hydrogen bomb.

China and Japan are reported to have been trying to detect radiation.


Kim Jong-un has appeared to suggest North Korea possesses a hydrogen bomb, in comments published on state media.

North Korea was “ready to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb and H-bomb”, KCNA quoted Kim Jong-un as saying.

If true, the development would mark a significant advancement in North Korean nuclear capabilities.

However, the claim has not been independently verified and has drawn skepticism from experts.Kim Jong un North Korea H bomb

The North Korean leader made the remarks as he inspected a historical military site in the capital Pyongyang.

The work of his grandfather Kim Il-sung had turned North Korea 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”, Kim Jong-un is quoted as saying.

While North Korea has made previous claims about its nuclear weapons capabilities this is thought to be its first reference to an H-bomb.

Such devices use fusion to create a blast far more powerful than a more basic atomic bomb.

North Korea has carried out three underground nuclear tests before, but experts cast doubt over the latest suggestions.

Independent observers are rarely allowed access to the secretive communist state, making verifying the authorities’ claims difficult.