President Obama is calling North Korea's latest nuclear test a threat to the US.
Ignoring warnings from the Obama administration, Russia, China and the UN, North Korea says it has conducted an underground nuclear test.
Obama said the test was a "highly provocative act" that "undermines regional stability" and threatens action by the international community. He also said it constitutes "a threat to U.S. national security."
The UN Security Council issued a statement, signed by all 15 members, declaring the test is "a clear threat to international peace and security."
"In line with this commitment and the gravity of this violation, the members of the Security Council will begin work immediately on appropriate measures in a Security Council resolution," the council said.
The Times of India said Beijing summoned North Korea's envoy and expressed its "firm opposition" to the test.
The New York Times quoted the official KCNA news agency, which said a “miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously” and that the test “did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment.” Ria Novosti said this could mean it would be more suitable to be used as a missile warhead.
Russia’s Ria Novosti also said, “North Korean official state media confirmed the reports of a nuclear test, adding that it had been conducted in a safe manner, and was aimed at dealing with ‘outrageous’ US hostility against the North's sovereign rights to launch satellites…”
Xinhua said, “The test was part of the country's 'practical measures of counteraction' to defend its security and sovereignty against hostile US policies, which it claimed have violated DPRK's 'rights to launch satellite for peaceful purposes,' the KCNA said in a statement.” China had officially opposed the test.
The Times said the test appeared to be far larger than two previous North Korean tests.
The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times reported seismic activity in the area that could have been produced by a nuclear test.
North Korea is already facing tightened sanctions from the UN for rocket tests.
Ria Novosti said the South Korean Defense Ministry estimated the blast at 10 kilotons.
"The event shows clear explosion-like characteristics and its location is roughly congruent with the 2006 and 2009 DPRK (North Korea) nuclear tests," the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s Executive Secretary Tibor Toth said in a statement Tuesday.
“If confirmed as a nuclear test, this act would constitute a clear threat to international peace and security, and challenges efforts made to strengthen global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in particular by ending nuclear testing,” the statement said.
The blast was recorded at 2:58 a.m. London time.
The BBC reported US President Barack Obama called for "swift" and "credible" international action in response. The UN Security Council will meet at 2 p.m. GMT, diplomats say.
North Korea conducted what was considered a failed test in 2006 and a successful one in 2009. The tests are very small by comparison with those conducted by major powers, whose yield has reached above 10,000 kilotons on occasion.
The tests indicate North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jung Un, is not ready to move away from past policies. He took over from his father, Kim Jung-Il, in 2011.
KCNA Korean news agency report on test
READERS: This article uses the spelling of Kim Jung Un used by his country's official news agency.