North Korea possibly tested hydrogen bomb components

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North Korea Conducts Fourth Nuclear Test


WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - North Korea might have attempted to test components of a hydrogen bomb earlier this month, CNN reported on Thursday, citing an unnamed U.S. official.

North Korea tested a nuclear device on Jan. 6 that it said was a hydrogen bomb.

A U.S. official directly familiar with the latest U.S. assessment said the explosion may have been a partial, failed test of some type of components associated with a hydrogen bomb, CNN reported.

Click through images from North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear facility:

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North Korea Punggye-ri Nuclear facility
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North Korea possibly tested hydrogen bomb components
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - DECEMBER 12th, 2015: Figure 1B. Dual mining cart tracks established at new tunnel site. Date: December 12, 2015. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - DECEMBER 12th, 2015: Figure 2B. Activity at the North Portal spoil pile. Date: December 12, 2015. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - MARCH 27th, 2015: Figure 2a. No camouflage covering the West Portal tunnel entrance at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in North Korea. Date: March 27, 2015. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - MARCH 27th, 2015: Figure 6a. Construction material visible at the Main Support Area at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in North Korea. Date: March 27, 2015. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - MAY 16, 2015: Figure 1. Low level of activity at the West Portal at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in North Korea. Date: May 16, 2015 (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - MAY 16, 2015: Figure 5. Areas that have been logged at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in North Korea. Date: May 16, 2015. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - APRIL 9th, 2015: New Nuclear Test Tunnel Under Construction at North Koreas Punggye-ri. Figure 2. Construction related to a new portal at North Koreas nuclear test site. Photo date: April 9, 2015. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - MAY 16, 2015: Figure 6b. An old building has been re-roofed and a new building has been erected at the Main Support Area at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in North Korea. Date: May 16, 2015 (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - MAY 31, 2010: Figure 2A. DigitalGlobe imagery of the West Portal of the Punngye Nuclear Facility in May 2010. Published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11, 2015: Figure 5A. The adjacent pad has been paved. Date: February 11, 2015 -- published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - JANUARY 11, 2015: Figure 4A. Pavement installed around the large domed building. Date: January 11, 2015 -- published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - JANUARY 11, 2015: Figure 2B. The South Tunnel Portal in deep shadow. Date: January 11, 2015 -- published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - JANUARY 11, 2015: Figure 1B. Construction in January at the West Portal. Date: January 11, 2015 -- published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - JANUARY 11, 2015: Figure 3B. Little activity at the Main Support Area. Note: image rotated. Date: January 11, 2015 -- published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
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The size of the seismic event and other intelligence indicate it was not likely a fully functioning device, CNN said.

The official said it is possible the North Koreans believe they conducted a full hydrogen bomb test, but the U.S. believes it was likely only some components, perhaps a detonator, that exploded, CNN reported.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters earlier on Thursday that the United States still believes that Pyongyang did not test a hydrogen bomb.

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