S. Korea spy agency believes bomb was atomic

Lawmaker says agency pointed to the relatively small size of the seismic wave reported.

January 06, 2016 05:19 pm | Updated September 22, 2016 10:27 pm IST - SEOUL:

The South Korean flag fkutters in the wind. Though North Korea has claimed it has tested a hydrogen bomb, Seoul claims Pyongyang has tested an atomic bomb.

The South Korean flag fkutters in the wind. Though North Korea has claimed it has tested a hydrogen bomb, Seoul claims Pyongyang has tested an atomic bomb.

A South Korean lawmaker says the country’s spy agency told him in a private briefing that Pyongyang may not have conducted a hydrogen bomb test given the relatively small size of the seismic wave reported.

Lawmaker Lee Cheol Woo says the National Intelligence Service told him that an estimated explosive yield of six kilotons and a quake with a magnitude of 4.8 were detected on Wednesday.

According to him, that’s smaller than the estimated explosive yield of 7.9 kilotons and a quake with a magnitude of 4.9 that were reported after the 2013 nuclear test, and only a fraction of a typical successful hydrogen bomb test’s explosive yield of hundreds of kilotons.

Mr. Lee says the agency told him that even a failed hydrogen bomb detonation typically yields tens of kilotons. He sits on the parliament’s intelligence committee.

Threat to our future, says President Park

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye called the test a “grave provocation” to its national security and a “threat to our future.”

She said North Korea’s action was a strong challenge to international peace and stability.

“Tough measures are needed, including the strict sanctions of the U.N. Security Council and allied and friendly nations,” she was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

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