North Korea says it has loaded H-bomb onto missile

FILE - In this April 13, 2017 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, is accompanied by Pak Pong Ju, right, Hwang Pyong So, second left, as he arrives for the official opening of the Ryomyong residential area, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Pyongyang will seek the extradition of anyone involved in what it says was a CIA-backed plot to kill leader Kim Jung Un April, 2017, with a biochemical poison, a top North Korean foreign ministry official said Thursday, May 11, 2017.(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s state media claims that its leader has inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

There will be some skepticism about the claim from experts about Pyongyang’s assertion that it has mastered hydrogen technology.

But Sunday’s statement by the state run Korean Central News Agency will raise already high worries on the Korean Peninsula and in Washington that the North is closer to its goal of an arsenal of viable nuclear ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland.

KCNA said Sunday that leader Kim Jong-un inspected the loading of an “H-bomb into the ICBM” during a visit to the North’s Nuclear Weapons Institute.

The North conducted two nuclear tests last year alone. The first involved what it claims to have been a hydrogen bomb and the second was its most powerful ever.

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