U.S. says cannot confirm DPRK H-bomb test, vowing appropriate response

2016-01-06 06:46:05 GMT2016-01-06 14:46:05(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government said Tuesday that it could not confirm that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had conducted a hydrogen bomb test, while vowing to respond appropriately to any "provocations."

"While we cannot confirm these claims at this time, we condemn any violation of UNSC (United Nations Security Council) resolutions and again call on North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments," White House National Security Council's spokesman Ned Price said in a statement issued late Tuesday.

The statement was in response to the DPRK announcement that it had successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test.

Price added that the United States would continue to protect and defend its allies in the region, and "respond appropriately to any and all North Korean provocations."

The "total success" of the H-bomb test, which took place at 10:00 a.m. Pyongyang time (0130 GMT), indicated that the DPRK has "proudly joined the advanced ranks of nuclear weapons states possessed of even an H-bomb," Pyongyang said in a statement carried by the state-run KCNA on Wednesday.

The test has "proved the technological specifications of the newly developed H-bomb were accurate and scientifically verified the power of the smaller H-bomb," said the statement.

The DPRK claimed that the test was conducted "in a safe and perfect manner" and that there was no adverse impact on the environment.

It added that its development of nuclear weapons is aimed at smashing the U.S. hostile policy against it, and stressed that the DPRK would not resort to nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty was infringed on.

Earlier in the day, the China Earthquake Networks Center said a 4.9-magnitude earthquake jolted the DPRK at 0130 GMT at a depth of 0 km.

The U.S. Geological Survey, which also reported the temblor but initially put the magnitude at 5.1 and the depth at 10 km, later revised the depth to 0 km.

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