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North Korea confirms "successful" nuclear test

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North Korea confirms "successful" nuclear test

Post  Panda on Tue 12 Feb - 8:08

North Korea confirms 'successful' nuclear test

North Korea has confirmed that it has carried out its third nuclear test,
after international monitors detected seismic activity close to the nation's
nuclear test site.


5:53AM GMT 12 Feb 2013


The North Korean regime said it had
"successfully" detonated a miniaturised nuclear device with "greater explosive
force" in an underground test.

"A third nuclear test has been successfully staged," the state-run Korean
Central News agency said.

"The nuclear test was conducted as part of measures to protect our national
security and sovereignty against the reckless hostility of the United States
that violated our republic's right for a peaceful satellite launch," KCNA said.

The confirmation came after monitors in Seoul, Japan and the US detected an
"artificial quake" at 11:57am Korean time (02:57 GMT).

The Punggye-ri nuclear test facility in North Korea (AFP)

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The South Korean Yonhap news agency said it measured 5.1 in magnitude and was
located in Kilju county, where the Punggye-ri test site is located.

The US Geological Survey measured it as a 4.9-magnitude quake at a very
shallow depth of just 0.6 miles.

South Korea raised its military alert level after reports of a quake and the
presidential office said that it was "likely" to be a nuclear test, according to
Yonhap. Shortly later, a UN Security Council diplomat confirmed it was a nuclear

"We've been informed by the South Koreans that there's been a (North Korean)
nuclear test," a UN Security Council diplomat told Reuters on condition of

North Korea is not prone to seismic activity. It conducted nuclear tests in
2006 and 2009.

A graph showing the seismic activity in
North Korea recorded by Japan's Meteorological Agency (Reuters)

The reclusive and isolated state is banned under United Nations Security
Council resolutions from developing nuclear and missile technology.

Confirmation of the test throws down a stark security and diplomatic
challenge to US President Barack Obama at the start of his second term, and to
regional neighbours China, Japan and South Korea, all of which have new or
incoming leaders.

The UN Security Council has convened an emergency meeting to discuss the test
later today.

The first priority for the international community will be determining the
precise nature and yield of any test and what it reveals about the technical
level of the North's nuclear weapons programme.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and
(right) and the Sohae launching station in Tongchang-ri

The United States and its allies have been on edge since North Korea said
last month it will conduct its third nuclear test to protest against toughened
sanctions over a December rocket launch that the UN called a cover for a banned
missile test.

North Korea's powerful National Defence Commission said Jan. 23 that the
United States was its prime target for a nuclear test and long-range rocket
launches. North Korea accuses Washington of leading the push to punish Pyongyang
for its December rocket launch.

Last October, a spokesman from the commission told state media that the
country had built a missile capable of striking the United States, but did not
provide further details. A missile featured in an April 2012 military parade
appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, but its authenticity has
not been verified by foreign experts.

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