North Korea on Sunday carried out its most powerful nuclear test yet, an underground explosion that caused tremors that could be felt in China and South Korea. Pyongyang is claiming it tested a hydrogen bomb that can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the American mainland, and experts say the bomb has destructive capacity far beyond the one that destroyed Hiroshima. President Trump around noon on Sunday tweeted, "I will be meeting General Kelly, General Mattis and other military leaders at the White House to discuss North Korea." He added that "the United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea." More on the situation:
- NBC News also has video of Trump remarking, "We'll see," after a reporter asks if he will attack North Korea.
- The Washington Post has published a history of nuclear tests and points out that North Korea is the only country to have performed one (or six) in the 21st century. It also explains the estimated yield (meaning how much energy is released in an explosion) was 100 kilotons, versus the yields of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were 15 and 21 kilotons, respectively.
- Per the BBC, the "largest man-made explosion ever on Earth" was the Soviet Union's Tsar Bomba in 1961, at "the height of the nuclear arms race."
- Deutsche Welle explains the differences between the hydrogen bomb Pyongyang claims it tested and the weaker atomic bomb: It really comes down to the "detonation process."
- Trump responded to news of the test by criticizing South Korea on Twitter, writing "their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!" The New York Times calls it a "notably harsh line" ... amid an escalating dispute over trade that threatens to weaken a central partnership in the region." More on Trump's debate over whether to withdraw from a major trade deal with the South here.
- The Hill notes the perspective of a State Department official under Bush: "This is no time to lecture South Korea or suspend free trade agreement. Best way to deter North Korea is to stand firmly with Seoul+Tokyo."
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz appeared on ABC News' The Week Sunday morning and was asked what he thought of Trump's handling of the situation. "The president speaks in ways that I wouldn't speak, but that is his prerogative. I do think it helps for North Korea and for China to understand that we have a president who is strong. I think the president is right that Kim Jong Un and other bullies only understand and respect strength, that weakness, that appeasement, encourages this action."
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