Happy New Year?
Not so much in North Korea, which is marking 2016 with some fireworks of its own, claiming it has successfully carried out an underground hydrogen bomb test.
Following a 5.1 magnitude tremor measured near the country's nuclear test site at Punggye-ri, experts at least agree that some sort of nuclear explosion took place, making it the despot nation’s fourth nuclear test in just under a decade.
As yet, however, there's been no official confirmation as to whether the blast was in fact large enough to cause a thermonuclear explosion, otherwise known as an H-Bomb. The only confirmation, unsurprisingly has been from the communist nation's state TV broadcasts:
"The republic's first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00 am on January 6, 2016," said a news reporter for state TV. Accompanying footage showed crowds gathering under large screens near Pyongyang's main train station to watch the supposed H-Bomb being tested, eliciting cheers as the test site lit up.
Only last month, Kim Jong- un, adding to his ongoing threats of developing a small nuclear bomb to place on a missile capable of reaching the US mainland (read: Seth Rogen’s house), claimed his scientists had developed a H-bomb. A threat immediately played down by US officials, who continue to assert that North Korea will never be able to make a nuclear weapon small enough to fit on a rocket.
One genuine worry for Obama and pals, however, is China, which remains North Korea's biggest ally. Amid pressure to join the chorus of other world superpowers and force the dictator to stick to nuclear sanctions, this latest Nuclear incident will likely serve to intensify China's role in keeping peace.
Will China do the right thing? Could it just be more grandstanding in a bid for more world aid from Jong-un? Was it even a H-Bomb at all? Should we brace ourselves for WW3?
And does anyone know the number for Team America: World Police?