North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says his country has developed a hydrogen bomb, state media reported Thursday.
Jong Un made the statement during an arms industry inspection on Wednesday, South Korean news agency Yonhap said, citing reports.
Information related to the highly secretive nation of North Korea, which has nuclear weapons, is extremely difficult to independently confirm.
A report by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said the country is now a “powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb (atomic bomb) and H-bomb (hydrogen bomb) to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation,” Yonhap reported.
Thermonuclear bombs, or hydrogen bombs, are far more powerful than conventional nuclear weapons.
It is believed to be the first time Kim has publicly said the North has developed the weapon, Yonhap reported.
Lee Chun-geun, a Science and Technology Policy Institute research fellow, told the news agency: “It’s hard to regard North Korea as possessing an H-bomb. I think it seems to be developing it.”
Kim said he is prepared to wage war against the United States if necessary in a speech to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling communistWorkers’ Party on Oct. 10.