President Obama Calls North Korea Nuke Test "Highly Provocative"
The White House is calling North Korea's latest nuclear test a "highly provocative act" that threatens U.S. security and international peace.
President Barack Obama is promising to "continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies" and urge "swift and credible action by the international community."
North Korea says it successfully detonated a miniaturized nuclear device at a northeastern test site today, defying U.N. Security Council orders to shut down atomic activity or face more sanctions and international isolation.
The U.N. Security Council is pledging further action against North Korea, calling today's nuclear test a "clear threat to international peace and security."
North Korea had earlier conducted tests in the weeks after it launched rockets in 2006 and 2009 -- and this third test followed a rocket launch in December. The council says it's a "grave violation" of U.N. resolutions aimed at limiting the North's nuclear program.
North Korea is calling the atomic test its "first response" to what it describes as U.S. threats. It says it will continue with "second and third measures of greater intensity" if Washington maintains its hostility.
The underground test, which set off powerful seismic waves, drew condemnation from around the world. Even North Korea's only major ally, China, is denouncing the test and demanding that North Korea return to "dialogue and negotiation." But it remains to be seen whether China will sign on to any new, binding global sanctions.
The North's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that its nuclear test Tuesday was a "self-defensive measure" that does not violate any international law.
The test is seen as a crucial step toward North Korea's goal of building a bomb small enough to be fitted on a missile capable of striking the United States.
North Korea's test drew immediate condemnation from Washington, the U.N. and others. Even its only major ally, China, voiced opposition.
U.S. intelligence officials say North Korea's nuclear test yielded an explosion of "approximately several kilotons."
In a statement Tuesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said North Korea "probably conducted an underground nuclear explosion in the vicinity of P'unggye." It said the explosion yield was "approximately several kilotons" and that analysis of the event is continuing.
South Korea's Defense Ministry said it detected an estimated explosive yield of 6-7 kilotons.
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