This is a developing story.
North Korea has claimed that a 6.3 magnitude earthquake detected in the country early Sunday morning was in fact a hydrogen bomb test. North Korea recently claimed to have the technology to install a hydrogen or nuclear bomb on an intercontinental ballistic missile, that could reach the United States mainland.
President Donald Trump has reportedly been in contact with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and both agreed action must be taken to end North Korea’s provocative actions. The country had recently launched a missile that flew over Japan.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake in North Korea early Sunday was likely the result of the country’s sixth nuclear test, media reports said.
North Korean state media claimed early Sunday that the blast was a test of a hydrogen bomb.
The test was estimated to have a yield of 100 kilotons, meaning a blast that was four to five times more powerful than the explosion in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, a South Korean defense official told the country’s Yonhap News Agency.
Pentagon officials told Fox News early Sunday that the U.S. government would have no official response until after the U.S. fully assesses what happened.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency initially pegged the earthquake at magnitude 5.6, but the 6.3 reading came from the U.S. Geological Survey.
The epicenter was determined to be near a well-known North Korean test site, according to media reports. U.S. intelligence agencies have been closely watching the test site since at least March, when initial signs of test prepartions were visible.
U.S. officials at the time told Fox News to expect a nuclear test in the near future. Now, more than five months later, the rogue communist regime appears to have followed through.
In his New Year’s address, Kim Jung Un said his nation had entered the “final stage” preparing for the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). In July, North Korea successfully test-fired two ICBMs.
Now just hours after photos emerged showing the North Korean dictator inspecting a new thermonuclear warhead in a lab, North Korea claims to have conducted its sixth nuclear test and first since September 2016.
The U.S. Air Force has WC-135 “sniffer” planes in Japan that will be measuring the air samples near the Korean Peninsula to confirm the presence of radioactive particles in the atmosphere and confirm the nuclear test. The Japanese military also has radiological detection equipment in some of its jets as well.
On Thursday Fox News asked Defense Secretary James Mattis if the Pentagon was seeing evidence of an upcoming nuclear test in North Korea. He declined to comment.
The previous day, before sitting next to his South Korean counterpart, Mattis said “We are not out of diplomatic options.”