Trump Responds to North Korea Nuclear Test, Says ‘They Only Understand One Thing’

September 3, 2017 Updated: September 3, 2017

President Donald Trump said that North Korea’s recent moves “continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States” and the rest of the world.

Trump, in several tweets on Sunday morning, wrote that Pyongyang “is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”

North Korea on Sunday claimed that it tested an advanced hydrogen bomb that it could mount on an intercontinental ballistic missile, known more commonly as an ICBM. The test reportedly set off a man-made earthquake in the country’s northeastern region, which was reportedly felt in China. The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed seismic activity, calling it a 6.3-magnitude “possible explosion” and it’s “located near the site where North Korea has detonated nuclear explosions in the past.”

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“South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” the president later tweeted.

The White House told Reuters that Trump’s national-security team was “monitoring this closely,” and that Trump will meet with his advisers later on Sunday.

On state TV, Pyongyang said it tested the bomb and was a “complete success” involving a two-stage thermonuclear weapon.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017. (KCNA via REUTERS)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017. (KCNA via REUTERS)

The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen during its test launch. The launch came days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations were due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea's weapons programme, which it has pursued in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions. (KCNA/via REUTERS)
The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen during its test launch. The launch came days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations were due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea’s weapons program, which it has pursued in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions. (KCNA/via REUTERS)

South Korea’s state weather agency said that the recent blast was 11.8 times more powerful than the “fourth blast in January” of 2016, Yonhap News reported. “According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the quake’s magnitude was measured at 5.7, the most powerful yet, compared to 5.0 in the fifth test in September last year and 4.8 in the fourth test in January last year,” Yonhap, South Korea’s official news agency, said Sunday.

The previous tests occurred in 2006, 2009, 2013, and twice last year.

“We’ve received reports that things were shaking,” a South Korea fire official said of the incident. “Since the KMA’s announcement, we’ve been telling people that it’s because of a quake in the North.”

There has been no independent confirmation that the weapon detonated was a hydrogen bomb, rather than a less powerful atomic weapon of the kind Pyongyang has tested in the past, Reuters reported.

South Korean visitors pass by the portraits of North Korea's late president Kim Il-Sung (L), former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (C), and former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (R) at a war memorial in Seoul on June 25, 2010. (PARK JI-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images)
South Korean visitors pass by the portraits of North Korea’s late president Kim Il-Sung (L), former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (C), and former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (R) at a war memorial in Seoul on June 25, 2010. (PARK JI-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un (left), standing next to intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) Hwasong-12 prior to launch (screenshot)
North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un (left), standing next to intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) Hwasong-12 prior to launch (screenshot)

Meanwhile, South Korean officials said it would push for new sanctions at the U.N. Security Council to “totally isolate the communist state,” Yonhap reported.

“President Moon Jae-in said the country will never allow North Korea to continue advancing its nuclear and missile technologies,” Moon’s key security adviser Chung Eui-yong was quoted as saying.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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