North Korea claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb through its state media, but many experts are still debating on whether this actually occurred. It will take weeks to confirm or deny the claim, since North Korea is an extremely paranoid and cryptic society. (For clarification on how North Korea got how it is, watch the video below.) However, the crucial question is what is a hydrogen bomb and why is it so important?
What we know is that a 5.1 seismic activity happened near North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear testing site at 10 a.m. local time on Jan. 5. They claim it was a hydrogen bomb being tested, but what does that mean for the world? To understand, we have to look at the difference between atomic and hydrogen bombs.
Atomic bombs use atomic fission to harness energy. In atomic fission, atoms are torn apart to create energy. In hydrogen bombs, energy is created by fusing hydrogen atoms together. The fusion of the atoms makes the bomb much more powerful than a regular atomic bomb. An atomic bomb is measured in kilotons (1,000 tons), while a hydrogen bomb is measured in megatons (1,000 kilotons). There is another option: a “boosted” weapon, where a small amount of fusion is used to increase the capability of a fission bomb. A boosted weapon usually yields around 50 kilotons.
The difference between these two bombs could have huge implications in the East and the entire world.
Information and video courtesy of Vox.com