Kim Jong Un's New Claim: We've Got an H-Bomb
Naturally, there are skeptics
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2015 9:07 AM CST
In this Oct. 10, 2015, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un salutes at a parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

(Newser) – North Korea is known for talking tough when it comes to its nukes, and remarks made by Kim Jong Un Thursday fanned the flames. While touring a museum dedicated to his father and grandfather, the self-proclaimed Supreme Leader suggested that North Korea now has a hydrogen bomb. Grandfather Kim Il Sung "turned [North Korea] into a powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb and H-bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation," said Kim, per the government's state news agency, via the CBC. What's worrisome, if true, is that hydrogen bombs are a much more powerful weapon than atomic bombs, the Washington Post notes.

But, as the CBC reports, it's difficult to parse truth from fiction when it comes to North Korea: Previous assertions that remain unverified include claims that it has fired a missile from a sub and that it's able to make mini nukes, per the Post. So not everyone's convinced that Kim's words are much more than rhetorical swagger. "It's hard to regard North Korea as possessing an H-bomb," a research fellow at the Science and Technology Policy Institute notes to CNN. "I think it seems to be developing it." A weapons expert at Romania's Babes-Bolyai University is more straightforward: "I think that's virtually impossible," he tells the Post. (North Korea bragged some more at a recent celebratory anniversary parade.)