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Published: Tue, September 05, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

United Nations watchdog: North Korean nuclear programme a grave concern

United Nations watchdog: North Korean nuclear programme a grave concern

The South Korean military said it was analyzing a "presumed" nuclear test, while Japan said it had determined North Korea conducted a nuclear test.

Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson said: "They (North Korea) seem to be moving closer towards a hydrogen bomb which, if fitted to a successful missile, would unquestionably present a new order of threat", adding that there were no palatable military solutions.

In a report on Sunday, the North's state news agency KCNA said Kim Jong-un had visited scientists at the nuclear weapons institute and "guided the work for nuclear weaponisation".

"Just because they showed us that sort-of peanut-shaped object earlier, that doesn't necessarily mean that's actually what they exploded".

Analysts have been uncertain about the ability of Pyongyang to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile and get that warhead to survive the tremendous heat generated on the missile's re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

It quoted Mr Kim as saying that "all components of the H-bomb were 100% domestically made".

Hydrogen or H-bombs, also known as thermonuclear weapons, work on fusion and are far more powerful, with a nuclear blast taking place first to create the intense temperatures required.

"Nuclear EMP has the demonstrated potential to disrupt, damage, or destroy a wide variety of electrical and electronic equipment", according to the US Department of Energy.

The report carried pictures of the leader inspecting the device.

It is in the area where the North has conducted previous nuclear tests.

The North Korean leadership says a credible nuclear deterrent is critical to the nation's survival, claiming it is under constant threat from an aggressive United States.

Sunday's KCNA report on the new nuclear capability follows a week of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Both leaders condemned North Korea and expressed their support for a tightening of European Union sanctions against it.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Donald Trump have agreed "in principle" to revise a bilateral treaty that limits the weight and range of the South's ballistic missiles.

The Kim Jong-un regime has also unveiled photos indicating that it may be developing a new submarine-launched, solid-fuel missile, called the Pukguksong-3 and a Hwasong-13 ICBM.

Japan has also called for a concerted worldwide effort to put an end to the "growing threat" posed by North Korea's nuclear program.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said a sixth nuclear test by Pyongyang would be "absolutely unacceptable", after a 6.3 magnitude explosion in the North indicated a new detonation.

As North Korea's most important trading partner, the position of China - a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council - will be closely watched.

"North Korea has a choice".

"I'm pretty anxious about radiation because a lot of our food comes from North Korea".

Saturday, the US and South Korea announced they have agreed "in principle" to revise a bilateral treaty that limits the weight and range of the South's ballistic missiles. The United States has repeatedly pressed Beijing to do more to rein in its neighbor.

North Korea has been test-firing missiles at a rapid pace all year.

There will be some scepticism from experts about the claim that Pyongyang has mastered hydrogen technology.

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