A further review of analysis suggests North Korea may have attempted to test portions of a hydrogen bomb in their its nuclear test on Jan 6, U.S. intelligence believes. CNN reported that although there is no final conclusion of the American intelligence assessment, officials state the incident may have been a partial, failed test of components of the bomb.
The U.S. still does not accept North Korea’s claim that it tested a hydrogen bomb, but air sampling conducted after the test has proved inconclusive, the official said. That prompted another look at the seismic data. That analysis shows the test was conducted more than two times deeper underground than originally assessed — at a depth consistent with what might be needed for a hydrogen bomb.
The size of the seismic event shows that the test was not a fully functioning device. North Korea may believe they tested a hydrogen bomb, but it was possibly only the detonator that exploded.