UK & World News
North Korea Nuclear Test 'Strongly Condemned'
The UN Security Council has criticised North Korea's third nuclear test, describing it as a "clear threat" to world peace.
Speaking after an emergency meeting, South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, whose country is president of the council this month, said its 15 members "strongly condemned" the test, which he described as a "grave violation of Security Council resolutions".
He said the council, which last month warned North Korea that it faced "significant action" in the event of a new nuclear test or missile launch, would now consider "appropriate measures".
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama described the test as a "highly provocative act" that would leave North Korea "increasingly isolated".
He said: "The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community."
North Korea confirmed it had carried out a third nuclear test after monitoring agencies reported an "unusual seismic event".
The test, just north of a site where Pyongyang carried out experiments in 2006 and 2009, triggered an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.9.
"The nuclear test was conducted as part of measures to protect our national security and sovereignty against the reckless hostility of the United States," the state-run Korean Central News agency said.
The South Korean defence ministry, which raised its military alert level after the quake, said the blast had an explosive yield of between six and seven kilotons (kt) and was of "enormous destructive power".
In comparison, the nuclear weapons detonated above Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 carried estimated yields of 15kt and 22kt respectively.