North Korea claims it has detonated a hydrogen bomb.

Can they actually build a fusion device? They haven’t had the best luck with fission devices in the past.

Looks legit, or at least it hasn’t been denied by any US officials or South Korea as yet.

The question now is do they have any delivery vehicle that could get it to Seoul? ( Or Japan?) Eg is it small enough to fit on a missile? On a related note maybe this will now push the US to sell a THAAD anti missile system to South Korea.

They have been working on it for 10 years. Does not mean that they are forever stuck at the same level.

Plus it might not be a true multi stage weaopon rather a type of boosted fission device.

Or maybe the hybrid “Layer Cake”

Yep, this article quotes an Analyst saying its a boosted weapon not a true fusion bomb. Which means its theoretical yield is “only” around 50 kilotons.

Tweet from a Journalist claims the US will send sniffer plans to the area to detect traces of isotopes and analyse the blast in detail.

Seoul? Absolutely. They could damn-near use a catapult to get it there.

Japan? Probably in a year or two. They say they’re close to miniaturizing the weapon. “Miniaturized” in this case meaning put on a warhead. They already have missles that can reach Japan. I remember a number of years ago they fired a missle that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean on the far side. As you might imagine, the Japanese were less than happy.

The graphic in this report shows a range of 5600 miles or 9000 kilometers. But this is hard to believe. Surely that can’t be right.

They could put it on some kind of dick.

Wait, I mean a Taepodong.

If this chart, from CNN, is correct then the magnitude is no greater than their 2013 test.

You’re WAY off… considering that you can get about 500 kilotons out of pure fission weapons, you can probably get close to twice that with boosted fission weapons. Boosted fission weapons weren’t ever a major strategic direction for the US in their own right, as fusion weapons came along very quickly. But they’re commonly used in fusion primaries to reduce the size(or in dial-a-yield weapons, you can choose to boost or not as one of the yields), so maybe that’s why you’re thinking they can only be 50 kt or so.

And if the magnitude of the tremors is no larger than their last test, it wasn’t any larger than about 15 kilotons at most, which either points toward a very sophisticated boosted fission weapon, or some kind of fizzle or failed test.

What’s hard to believe about it? We were making rockets that could reach the Moon in the 1960’s. Plus, North Korea has gotten plenty of off-the-books help from China (and maybe Russia) over the years.

Apparently China is furious over this test so close to their border, so future help may be tough to get.

Well, they say they’re furious about it. It may be true, or it may just be window dressing. You never can be sure with those sorts of official statements.

Altho, North Korea has been doing nuclear testing in that same area for years now, so I rather doubt the location was a surprise to Beijing.

I’m skeptical that China didn’t know about this test and doesn’t know how the program is going in general.

I’m kinda looking forward to the day China has to deal with 20 million malnourished, physically and mentally stunted refugees.

The have had a good part in making this mess.

Is it possible for a thermonuclear weapon to be *weaker *than 7 kilotons?

Let’s look at the evidence - the seismic data indicates something similar in yield to the 2013 test. That device wasn’t a fusion device, so this one is unlikely to be either. Even the fission yield is on the low side, so they do not have anything to boast about - poorly implemented fission weapons that might be just approaching deliverable devices. The likely yield does not even indicate a boosted device, let alone a hydrogen (fusion) bomb.
NK news claimed to show video of a typical “mushroom” cloud from the test. That would suggest an above-ground test - the fallout from such a test would be all over the region, and particulate evidence would be easy to collect. But I doubt it was actually an above-ground test, no one does that any more. The footage was probably stock video for propaganda purposes.

So a barely working fission device with inflated claims, in my opinion.

A “barely working fission device” is enough to fuck up any city on earth and cause millions to have a lousy morning.

One city, if they were really lucky. There are other regimes with actually working weapons that could pose a significantly higher threat to international safety and security.

North Korea has had four attempts, none of which have approached the yield of a typical “first device”. They do not seem to be improving, so their technical capabilities appear to be weak. Are they a risk - yes. Their leader is probably certifiable. But the actual device is still probably not deliverable except in a 20’ container, and and provides no deterrence capability at this stage.

I’d rather worry about real threats.