Despite North Korea’s claim of successfully carrying out its first Hydrogen Bomb explosion, world powers including the US are yet to buy the claim in its entirety. Many believe that Pyongyang doesn’t have the technology to make a H-bomb.
A hydrogen bomb also called a ‘thermonuclear bomb’ is highly sophisticated and more powerful than the conventional nuclear bomb. It uses energy from a primary nuclear fission reaction to ignite a secondary nuclear fusion reaction.
Only a hand full of countries in the world have so far known to possess H-bombs in their arsenal.
The US was the first country to develop an H-bomb. The first test explosion was carried out in 1954.
The former USSR carried out the first successful test of its thermonuclear bomb in November 1955.
Codenamed ‘Operation Grapple’ UK’s first successful Hydrogen weapon test in October 1957.
China detonated its first hydrogen bomb on June 1967.
France had one of the most secretive thermonuclear weapon developments. The first successful detonation was carried out in August 1968.
While all the above countries have signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) agreeing to ban all nuclear explosions, for military or civilian purposes, there are other countries who are not signatories of the agreement and believed to be in possession of the Hydrogen Bomb.
India carried out a thermonuclear bomb explosion in its Operation Shakti tests in 1998
Israel is believed to be in possession of Hydrogen bombs, even though the details including successful tests or the number or war heads are unclear.
In May 1998, Pakistan carried out six underground nuclear tests in Chagai Hills and Kharan Desert in Balochistan Province. Even though Pakistan says the test included a thermonuclear weapon, the claim is still unverified.
North Korea is the latest country to join the league. The country claim to have tested its miniaturised thermonuclear test on 6th January 2016.