The Slatest

North Korea Says It Successfully Tested a Hydrogen Bomb

A North Korean technician checks the Unha-3 rocket at the Sohae Satellite Launch Station in Tongchang-Ri on April 8, 2012.

Photo by PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake was detected in North Korea Wednesday morning (local time) near the site of previous nuclear tests in the country. The disturbance was described as an “artificial quake” by South Korean officials, indicating that its reclusive northern neighbor likely conducted its fourth atomic test. Meanwhile, North Korea proclaimed it had an “important announcement” and in a televised newscast later said it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.

“A confirmed test would mark another big step toward Pyongyang’s goal of building a warhead that can be mounted on a missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland,” according to the Associated Press. “Pyongyang is thought to have a handful of crude nuclear weapons. The United States and its allies worry about North Korean nuclear tests because each new blast brings the country closer to perfecting its nuclear arsenal.”

*This post has been updated.