North Korea claims to have tested its first hydrogen bomb on Wednesday, but seismologists and national security experts from across the world doubt the veracity of this claim; and they have their reasons - Bloomberg reports.
The seismic activity chart recorded in Mudanjiang, China, before and after the North Korea test indicates that readings of the Wednesday test were too similar to the explosions tested by the country in 2006, 2009, and 2013 – verified as underground nuclear tests. It is speculated that a real hydrogen bomb should have produced a much larger seismic reading.
Scientists from Columbia University’s Earth Institute reveal that the level of the reading for Wednesday’s test recorded in Mudanjiang was almost similar to past explosions; during the initial reading, the indicator was unresponsive for almost the first minute of the monitoring, and then two big pulses occurred at nearly eight seconds apart.
And then the shockwaves slowly reduced in intensity and disappeared after a number of minutes.
On the Richter scale, the seismic activity registered for 5.1 magnitude, which was almost equal to previous tests that North Korea had carried out in the past. Another thing is that the minimum explosive yield of the supposed H-bomb was about 3.5 kilotons of TNT – Won-Young Kim of Columbia University stated.
This is smaller than the explosive yields recorded by US bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
The seismic signature of a real H-bomb is more or less like that of an atomic bomb; but it has a much larger megaton for its explosive yield.
Defense analysts believe North Korea may have probably turbo-charged a conventional atomic explosion by adding a tiny number of tritium to the bomb’s core instead of manufacturing an hydrogen bomb from the scratch.