By Rick Sallinger
DENVER (CBS4) – North Korea is rattling nations around the world with an unannounced test of a powerful bomb. The communist nation claims it successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb.
The blast registered as a 5.1 quake at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden. It was in an area where previous nuclear tests have been carried out. The Obama administration isn’t so sure it was actually a hydrogen bomb.
“The initial analysis that’s been conducted of the events that were reported overnight is not consistent with North Korean claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday.
An H-bomb is far more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.
Diplomats at the United Nations quickly scheduled an emergency closed-door meeting to discuss the developments. The Security Council, including the Chinese, issued a statement strongly condemning the North Korean test.
The question now is, can anything be done about it?
Dr. Chris Hill, the dean of the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies, was an ambassador to South Korea in 2004 and 2005. He later headed up the U.S. delegation to the six-party talks with North Korea. He negotiated with the North Koreans for four years and is disappointed to see what has happened. Hill says what the North Koreans announced and what really happened are in dispute.
“You have to understand that with North Koreans, what they say and what actually happens are kind of two different things,” he told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger. “They’re not stupid people, but they are very difficult to deal with. They would repeat themselves 20 times,” Hill said.
News of the blast was televised to the North Koreans on big screen TVs. It’s a country that has been steadily trying to develop long-range nuclear weapons that can hit the United States and its allies.
“Which is the bigger threat in your opinion, North Korea or ISIS?” Sallinger asked Hill.
“Well ISIS doesn’t have nuclear weapons, and I’m an old fashioned kind of guy and I think nuclear weapons are what we need to worry about in the world,” Hill replied.
He dismisses the visit of former NBA star Dennis Rodman last year to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“Is Dennis Rodman a viable figure to try to change the behavior of North Korea?” Sallinger asked.
“I don’t think so,” Hill replied.
He believes diplomatic efforts must be stepped up, including through China to reign in North Korea before it’s too late.
Hill said more sanctions seem to be the next step.