3-magnitude 'explosion' detected in North Korea, says USGS

This image made from undated video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea’s KRT on Sept. 3 2017 North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un holds the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee. North Korean state television said on Sunday Sep

Following today's reported nuclear bomb test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the head of the United Nations atomic agency has spoken against "an extremely regrettable act" that completely disregarded the global community's repeated demands.

Donald Trump branded North Korea "a rogue nation" whose "words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous" to the United States.

In a series of tweets following the test, President Trump opined that the North Koreans "only understand one thing!" "Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and unsafe to the United States", Trump wrote, adding that Pyongyang "has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success".

North Korea's latest nuclear test is likely to pile more pressure on China to take tough action against its neighbour, but Beijing already doubts economic sanctions will work and says it is not its sole responsibility to rein in Pyongyang. It fired a potentially nuclear-capable midrange missile over northern Japan last week in response to ongoing US-South Korea military exercises.

Mrs May said she had discussed the "serious and grave threat these unsafe and illegal actions present" with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during her visit to the country last week and reiterated their joint call for "tougher action, including increasing the pace of implementation of existing sanctions and looking urgently in the UN Security Council at new measures".

The photos released earlier showed Kim talking with his lieutenants as he observed a silver, peanut-shaped device that the state-run media said was created to be mounted on the North's "Hwasong-14" ICBM.

Trump warned last month that the United States military was "locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely" and that the USA would unleash "fire and fury" on the North if it continued to threaten America. "It will isolate them further".

Mrs May blasted North Korea "reckless" and called for further pressure to be placed on Pyongyang to force the state to give up its quest for ICBMs.

Mrs May said: "This latest action by North Korea is reckless and poses an unacceptable further threat to the worldwide community".

Moscow urged all sides involved to hold talks, which it said was the only way to resolve the Korean peninsula's problems. "It also underlines yet again the urgent need for the worldwide community to act on putting in place a legally binding ban on nuclear testing once and for all".

"We can not deny it was an H-bomb test", Onodera said.

It also showed his handwritten order for the test to be carried out at noon on September 3.

The U.S. Geological Survey said it recorded a 6.3 magnitude natural disaster in North Korea on Sunday.

Hours before the test, North Korea's state news agency KCNA released pictures showing leader Kim inspecting a silver, hourglass-shaped warhead during a visit to the country's nuclear weapons institute, accompanied by scientists. State media said the device could be loaded on to a ballistic missile.

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For his part, Acton says he says no reason to doubt the North Korean claim.

However, this does appears to be the biggest and most successful nuclear test by North Korea to date - and the messaging is clear. It allows the weapons to pack a huge punch while fitting in a warhead small enough to be delivered by a missile.

She said: "This is now even more pressing".

As opposed to the atomic bomb - the kind dropped on Japan by the USA in the closing days of World War II - the hydrogen bomb can be 1,000 times more powerful.

Such a weapon, with the first stage based on nuclear fission - splitting atoms - and the second on nuclear fusion, produces much more power than traditional atom bombs, or "pure fission" devices.

How can the world respond?

Kune Y Suh, a nuclear engineering professor at Seoul National University, called Sunday's test a "game changer".

Despite the bluster and threats from the Trump administration in Washington and near-universal condemnation from around the world, Pyongyang is not going to halt or constrain its nuclear activities. He also suggested squeezing China, the North's patron for many decades and a vital United States trading partner, on the economic front, in hopes of persuading Beijing to exert leverage on its neighbor.

How did news of the test emerge?

The tremors were centered in the North Hamgyong province, where North Korea is known to have a nuclear test site, according to The Economist. The sanctions were said to have the potential to cut the Asian state's $3 billion (2.31 billion pounds) annual export revenue by a third, but Russian Federation questions their effectiveness.

Then Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said there was no doubt this was North Korea's sixth nuclear test.

Suga said imposing restrictions on the North's trade in crude oil and oil products is "one of the options" Japan might seek. The Kim regime has developed its weapons and nuclear program despite the measures that have crippled the economy and exacerbated periods of mass starvation. It is the China's firm stance and the general aspiration of the worldwide community to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, safeguard the nuclear non-proliferation system, and maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

There is no sign, though, that China is willing yet to see that "firm will" go beyond United Nations sanctions, which recently clamped down on seafood and iron ore exports, in addition to the coal and minerals that are already banned from crossing the border.

Even the state-controlled media will find it hard to ignore the fact that their man has been upstaged - embarrassed too - by its nearly universally ostracised ally and neighbour.

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