The White House just threw cold water on North Korea's purported hydrogen-bomb test

White House press secretary Josh Earnest suggested strongly on Wednesday that the North Korean regime was lying when it claimed to have successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb the day before.

“We’re obviously going to continue to look at this by monitoring the situation, assessing the available data and evidence,” Earnest said at his regular media briefing.

He continued: “But the initial analysis is not consistent with the claims that the regime has made of a successful hydrogen-bomb test.”

North Korea announced Tuesday night that it had set off a hydrogen-bomb explosion, which would represent a significant advancement of its nuclear arsenal. However, many experts said they were sceptical of that claim.

The White House appeared to be in full agreement with those sceptics.

“There’s nothing that’s occurred in the last 24 hours that has caused the US government to change our assessment of North Korea’s technical and military capabilities,” Earnest said. “Now, I hasten to add that we’re continuing the work necessary to learn more on the nuclear test that North Korea conducted last night.”

He added: “But you’ve probably seen by now the extensive independent analysis that’s been done in the United States and in other countries that includes significant and understandable scepticism of the claims of the North Korean regime.”

This post is being updated.

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