N. Korea says test no threat, then threatens to wipe out US


SEOUL: North Korea said Tuesday its nuclear test was not intended to be a provocation or threat, as it laid out plans for a weapons system capable of obliterating the entire United States.

A lengthy commentary by the official KCNA news agency underlined the North’s claim that last Wednesday’s test was of a powerful miniaturised hydrogen bomb which marked a “new high stage” in the country’s search for a credible nuclear deterrent.

Experts have largely dismissed the claim, saying the test yield was far too low for a full-fledged thermonuclear device and was similar to the simple fission implosion devices it has tested three times in the past.

The KCNA commentary said the test was an indispensable stage on the “normal course” which other countries have taken to the development of a two-stage fission-fusion H-bomb.

“The test was neither to ‘threaten’ anyone, nor to ‘provoke’ someone for a certain purpose,” KCNA said, insisting that the main focus was on providing a “sure guarantee” of the North’s immunity from attack by hostile forces.