North Korea threatened on Sunday that it could send a hydrogen bomb to wipe out the Manhattan borough of New York by securing it on the back of a ballistic missile. The statement, issued by a state-owned news agency, was the latest in a series of threats from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un against the United States and its other self-proclaimed enemies.
A report from state-owned news outlet DPRK Today said, “Our hydrogen bomb is much bigger than the one developed by the Soviet Union,” the Washington Post reported, adding, “If this H-bomb were to be mounted on an inter-continental ballistic missile and fall on Manhattan in New York City, all the people there would be killed immediately, and the city would burn down to ashes.”
Defense officials acknowledge that North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile program has been expanding, though most experts say that the nation does not have the capacity to send a missile that would reach the East Coast. Many scientists also said they were skeptical of the claim that North Korea had a hydrogen bomb.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 13, 2016
Tensions have been rising between North Korea, the U.S., and American ally South Korea in the past several weeks. North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear missile test in January and then launched a rocket in February, despite warnings from the international community. The United Nations quickly issued fresh sanctions on Pyongyang following news of the rocket launch.
The U.S. and South Korea, along with troops from Australia and New Zealand, took part in exercises simulating storming North Korea’s beach defenses in a drill Saturday in the oceanside city of Pohang, South Korea. "They will penetrate notional enemy beach defenses, establish a beach head and rapidly transition forces and sustainment ashore," the U.S. military said in a statement on the exercises, Reuters reported.