Washington doubtful North Korea tested an 'H-bomb'

Officials in Washington confirm North Korea carried out a nuclear deal but are skeptical it tested a hydrogen bomb.

Ben Ariel ,

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un

The White House on Wednesday expressed skepticism over North Korea’s claim that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest suggested Pyongyang was lying, according to comments carried by Business Insider.

“We’re obviously going to continue to look at this by monitoring the situation, assessing the available data and evidence,” Earnest said, adding, “But the initial analysis is not consistent with the claims that the regime has made of a successful hydrogen-bomb test.”

“There’s nothing that’s occurred in the last 24 hours that has caused the U.S. government to change our assessment of North Korea’s technical and military capabilities,” Earnest continued.

He also noted that “you’ve probably seen by now the extensive independent analysis that’s been done in the United States and in other countries that includes significant and understandable skepticism of the claims of the North Korean regime.”

State Department spokesman John Kirby, meanwhile, said Washington believes North Korea conducted a nuclear test but was skeptical it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

"The U.S. government judges North Korea to have conducted a nuclear test yesterday," he told reporters, according to Reuters. "We strongly condemn this violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions."

The assessments are in line with earlier ones by experts, who also cast doubts about North Korea’s claims.

Although the blast generated in the underground test was large enough to trigger a mini earthquake, the experts said a hydrogen bomb - or "H-bomb" - would have generated one many times as great.