Pyongyang Claims It Could Wipe Out Manhattan

Government says powerful H-bomb could reach city
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2016 4:01 AM CDT
Updated Mar 14, 2016 6:20 AM CDT
Pyongyang Claims It Could Wipe Out Manhattan
What is believed to be an improved version of the KN-08 ballistic missile is paraded in Pyongyang, North Korea, last year.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

In North Korea's latest hint that it's displeased with the West, it has threatened to wipe out Manhattan with a hydrogen bomb so powerful it surpasses the imagination. "Our hydrogen bomb is much bigger than the one developed by the Soviet Union," a North Korean government nuclear scientist told state media, per the Washington Post. "If this H-bomb were to be mounted on an intercontinental 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." Experts say this is the first time that Pyongyang has suggested it's capable of striking the US East Coast, the New York Daily News reports.

Experts aren't sure of the exact size and scale of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, though obliterating Manhattan with an H-bomb is thought to be well beyond its capabilities. This month alone, North Korea has also boasted of having missile-ready miniaturized nuclear warheads and threatened a "nuclear strike of justice." When Pyongyang makes nuclear threats, other countries tend to either panic or completely dismiss them as bluster, the AP notes. The more appropriate response may be somewhere in the middle: The threats tend to be followed not by massive strikes, but by low-level attacks on the South and missile tests that move its weapons program a little further along. (A young American remains in custody in the North.)

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