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North Korea conducts third nuclear test

United Nations, Feb 12 (): North Korea on Tuesday said it has carried out a “successful” third underground nuclear test in defiance of United Nations warnings. The State-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said a “miniaturised” nuclear device had been detonated successfully at the test site and the underground test used a smaller, lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than before.

The move has brought quick criticism from the UN, China – its sole major ally and strong condemnation from around the world. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the the nuclear test of North Korea as “disgraceful” on Tuesday and termed the act as a “clear and grave violation” of the Security Council resolutions.

The UN diplomats said the Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss about the possibilities of imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang.

This is the third nuclear test by North Korea and has shocked the entire world. The first two nuclear tests were conducted in 2006 and 2009.

This test is the first such test under new leader Kim Jong-un, who took over the leadership after his father Kim Jong-il died in December 2011. North Korea said the nuclear test – which comes on the eve of US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address – was to “to protect our national security and sovereignty against the reckless hostility of the United States”.

US President Barack Obama condemned the North Korean nuclear test calling it “highly provocative” that hurt regional stability and he and other states that are members of U.N. Security Council pressed for new sanctions on the isolated country.

South Korea described the test as a violation of U.N. resolutions and as an “unacceptable threat”. The country has also requested the UNSC to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening.

Japanese officials said they would set up military jets to study the radiation levels following the nuclear test.

Russia condemned the test saying Moscow considered it a violation of UN Security Council resolution.

In recent weeks, Chinese officials in Beijing have said they had cautioned the North against going ahead with the test. Chinese analysts and State media have recently called on the country to take a tougher approach in dealing with the North.

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