Girl bands, revenge and North Korea’s hydrogen bomb

Pyongyang, Jan. 10, 2016: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un paid a congratulatory visit to the Ministry of People's Armed Forces where he declared that the country’s latest nuclear test – allegedly a hydrogen bomb blast – had been conducted in ‘self-defense’ (source: dpa)
Pyongyang, Jan. 10, 2016: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un paid a congratulatory visit to the Ministry of People's Armed Forces where he declared that the country’s latest nuclear test – allegedly a hydrogen bomb blast – had been conducted in ‘self-defense’ (source: dpa)

On the morning of January 6, 2016, the people in the Yanbian region of China’s Jilin province felt the earth rumble. Tables and chairs in the buildings moved 20 centimeters. Cracks appeared on the playground at a local school. Students taking an exam hurriedly fled their classroom in search of safety. No one knew what had happened until a few hours later, when the North Korean government announced it had carried out its fourth test of a nuclear explosive. Only this time, said Pyongyang, it was a hydrogen bomb.

Yanbian is just over a hundred kilometers from where North Korea conducted its test. The location, in the country’s northeast, is a dangerous one for carrying out such trials. I...

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