North Korea and its nuclear test: What next?

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea conducted a sixth nuclear test on Sunday, September 3, and declared itself in command of a working hydrogen bomb just hours after the explosion.

Here are some key questions around the blast and the isolated state's nuclear program. 

What kind of bomb was detonated?

North Korea said it had detonated a hydrogen bomb "of unprecedently big power" that can be loaded onto a long-range missile, a step forward that would dramatically escalate the threat it poses. 

State media declared the test a complete success and said no radiation had leaked into the atmosphere. 

South Korean President Moon Jae-In called for the "strongest punishment" against Pyongyang, and "all diplomatic measures including UNSC sanctions resolutions to completely isolate North Korea".

Professor Koo of the University of North Korean Studies said the test was a major setback for Moon's hopes of improving inter-Korean ties. The new leader favours engagement as well as sanctions to bring Pyongyang to the negotiating table.

The US has not yet given an official comment about Sunday's test, although a fiery tweet from Trump could further escalate geopolitical tensions.

After North Korea last week fired a missile over Japan, another US ally, Trump tweeted: "The US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!"

Trump's rhetoric has appeared to allude to possible military action, but his former chief adviser Steve Bannon told The American Prospect: "There's no military solution, forget it." –