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Analyst calls North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test statement is 70% PR-campaign

January 14, 2016, 16:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The expert sees Pyongyang's statement of successful hydrogen bomb as North Korea’s fresh call for a dialogue with the United States

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© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. North Korea’s statement it has tested a hydrogen bomb is a PR-campaign 70% and a military and technological move only to a 30%-degree, the executive director of the National Committee for BRICS Studies, director of the Russian Strategy in Asia Center under the Russian Academy of Sciences, Georgy Toloraya, said in a round-table discussion titled North Korea’s Hydrogen Trace: Testing the Patience of the International Community.

"North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has decided to address one and all with a reminder. The United States’ eyes are currently riveted to the Middle East and Ukraine and the beginning of the presidential campaign. Kim has the seventh party congress looming on the horizon and he is keen to bolster his authority inside and outside the country. This explains why the hydrogen bomb test has come in very handy."

Toloraya doubts the test was as successful as it has been described, though.

"This is certainly not a finished product, but just the first step towards creating a full-fledged thermonuclear warhead," he believes. "Not a single successful test of an intern-continental ballistic missile has been registered yet. By making such claims North Korea misleads both the international community and itself."

Toloraya sees the statement as North Korea’s fresh call for a dialogue with the United States.

"The North Koreans wish to conduct a dialogue with the Americans as equals and to conclude a peace treaty and obtain security guarantees," he said. "Moreover, North Korea has never concealed its intention to move towards a thermonuclear status. Its deputy foreign minister said back in 2004 that in the context of hostile US policies North Korea might create more powerful weapons."

Toloraya believes that extra sanctions would not have any critical effect on North Korea’s position.

The country is not afraid of any negative effects the latest events might entail.

"Extra sanctions will surely complicate its position, but not critically," he explained. "Restrictions are unlikely to change anything in qualitative terms. In the meantime, in six months from now Kim will be able to declare that the country had entered into a new economic and military-political development phase.".

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