North Korea confirms nuclear test

  • North Korea carried out a third nuclear test on Tuesday morning in spite of receiving warnings from the United Nations.

    The move even triggered criticism from its sole major ally, China.

    Activity had been observed at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site for months.

    Seismic activity was then detected by agencies from several countries at 11:57 am local time. A shallow earthquake with a magnitude of 4.9 was recorded, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

    State-run KCNA news agency confirmed the test three hours later, saying:  "It was confirmed that the nuclear test, that was carried out at a high level in a safe and perfect manner using a miniaturised and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously, did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment.”

    North Korea previously conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

    Last month, it announced it would carry out a third in response to UN sanctions that were expanded following a December rocket launch.

    The test is the first of its kind to be conducted under new leader Kim Jong-un, who took over after his father Kim Jong-il died in December 2011.

    The UN Security Council is due to meet later today to discuss the test.

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