Following North Korea’s Recent Nuclear Bomb Test, the U.S. sends Secretary of State John Kerry to China in hopes of putting pressure on the Korean regime, supporting U.N. sanctions. Although the Korean War ended over half a century in the past, on July 27, 1953, hostilities continue to this day. On January 6, 2016, North Korea carried out its fourth nuclear test. The detonation was detected by seismic devices, with the U.S. Geological Service reporting a 5.1 magnitude earthquake and the China Earthquake Networks Center reporting it as a 4.9. The underground nuclear detonation led the U.S., South Korea and Japan to seek U.N. sanctions against North Korea. The test has been seen as a violation of UN resolutions by various nations.
Previous tests took place in 2006, 2009, and 2013, and were of Atomic bombs, however North Korea claimed this test was a successful test of a Hydrogen Bomb, a much more powerful weapon. This claim has been contested by officials from South Korea and the U.S. who instead say that the bomb was likely a fission bomb, such as a boosted fission weapon.
The United Nations held an emergency session after the nuclear detonation and the Secretary-General thinks this will be “profoundly destabilizing for regional security.”
South Korean President Park Geun Hye has stated that South Korea’s “military is in a state of full readiness” and that they may agree to allow The U.S. to deploy a Thaad (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile system.
Secretary of State Kerry has stated that China’s approach, avoiding being confrontational with the DPRK, hasn’t worked and that “we cannot continue business as usual.” However, Chinese Officials are of the belief that further sanctions on The DPRK will not serve to make them cease nuclear weapons testing. They believe that they can’t make North Korea let go of their nuclear program.
John Kerry will arrive in Beijing, China on the 26th of January to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, among others. Kerry hopes China, as North Korea’s closest trade partner, and the countries’ largest supplier of oil, is an important piece to make North Korea stand down on its nuclear tests.