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North Korea tests hydrogen bomb with "perfect success," severely escalating tensions

North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date as the U.S. continues to weigh its limited options.
(Image via Wikipedia)
(Image via Wikipedia)

Kim Jong Un signed off on yet another hydrogen bomb test, sending a 6.3-magnitude tremor through northeast North Korea, according to an announcement by state media.

This is the most powerful nuclear test to be conducted by the country to date, which has racked up a total of six tests, coming on the heels of its missile launch over Japan just last week. North Korea called the event a "perfect success."

Trump announced the test with a tweet on Sunday morning, stating, “North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have escalated sharply overnight during the early hours of Sunday as the Trump administration continues to weigh its options toward the rogue nation.

However, there are no easy answers. While Trump has considered making a preemptive strike on the country’s nuclear facilities, North Korea has a deep arsenal with which it could consequently attack Seoul, which is only a short drive away. The probable result would be a full-scale war with scores of casualties. Non-military actions such as sanctions continue to be of little use since North Korea has become more self-reliant after adapting to previous sanctions.

Trump has tried to prompt China to act, emphasizing his frustration in a tweet stating, “North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”

The president also criticized South Korea’s appeasement talks with the North, believing them to be an ineffective means of handling the crisis.

While North Korea has said the hydrogen bomb it tested could be launched using an intercontinental missile, it remains impossible to verify this claim.