North Korea Performs 3rd Nuke Test

Obama: Time for 'swift action'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2013 2:28 AM CST
Updated Feb 12, 2013 7:58 AM CST
North Korea Performs 3rd Nuke Test
South Korean soldiers watch computer screens following a report about a possible nuclear test conducted by North Korea, at the Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

In open defiance of the UN, North Korea has executed its third nuclear test, prompting global condemnation among leaders from the US to Russia to Japan. The latest test involved a "miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously" in 2006 and 2009, the country said. Calling the test a "highly provocative act," President Obama has urged "swift and credible action by the international community," and the UN Security Council is planning a meeting this morning to address the issue, the New York Times reports. Pyongyang said afterward that the test was a "first response" to US hostility and warned of unspecified "second and third measures of greater intensity."

The test has also angered China, Pyongyang's one major ally, Reuters notes. It's "hugely insulting to China, which now can be expected to follow through with threats to impose sanctions," says an analyst. Thus far, China has cited "firm opposition" to a test conducted "heedless of widespread international opposition," the AP reports. According to South Korea, seismic activity suggests the explosion measured some 6 to 7 kilotons—more than previous tests but less than the 20 kilotons detonated in Hiroshima. Seismic tests by several countries suggested the test, which the North called "safe and perfect," occurred near the location of its predecessors; the US Geological Survey says it was just a kilometer underground. Over at the Washington Post, the crack staff has found the exact test site—on Google Maps, just off "Nuclear Test Rd." (More North Korea stories.)

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