North Korea claimed a Wednesday morning test of a hydrogen bomb, though the seismic data has led most to conclude that wasn’t the case. Figuring out exactly what the test was, however, is likely to take a long time.
A 5.1 magnitude artificial earthquake is roughly in keeping with what was seen in the 2013 atomic test, which was a traditional 7 kt atomic homb, not a more advanced hydrogen bomb. Collecting all the airborne particle data to reach conclusions is a long task.
And it might be easier said than done. Japanese monitoring posts say they haven’t come up with any radiation in the wake of the test so far, which means there’s no data at all to base conclusions on. This may change in the days to come.
Several nations are scrambling to punish North Korea for the apparent test, though the lack of specifics may make such a resolution awfully vague. Still, North Korea doesn’t exactly have any allies that are liable to protect them at the UN anymore, so this may ultimately not be an obstacle.
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