North Korea claims 'successful' testing hydrogen Nuclear bomb
SEOUL: North Korea said it had successfully conducted a test of a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear device on Wednesday morning.
The announcement on North Korean state TV followed detection of a 5.1 magnitude earthquake near its known nuclear test site earlier on Wednesday.
The nuclear test is the fourth by the isolated country, which is under US and UN sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes.
Meanwhile, South Korea´s defense ministry said that the country´s armed forces are stepping up their monitoring of North Korea after the isolated country said it successfully conducted a test of a miniaturised nuclear device.
Separately, South Korea´s Yonhap News agency said President Park Geun-hye will preside over a national security council meeting at 0430 GMT.
White House says cannot confirm nuclear test
Following the news, the White House said late that it could not confirm North Korea's claims of successfully testing the hydrogen nuclear device, but added that Washington it will continue to monitor the situation.
"While we cannot confirm these claims at this time, we condemn any violation of UNSC Resolutions and again call on
North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments," said White House National Security Council
spokesman Ned Price in a statement.
Price said the United States will continue to "protect and defend our allies in the region," and will "respond appropriately to any and all North Korean provocations."
"Wake-up call" for the world: CTBTO head
The head of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), the international body set up to monitor a planned ban on nuclear testing, condemned North Korea's nuclear test, calling it a "wake-up call" for the international community.
"This act constitutes a breach of the universally accepted norm against nuclear testing," said CTBTO head Lassina Zerbo.
"It is also a grave threat to international peace and security."
Wednesday´s detonation was North Korea´s fourth nuclear test, and second since young leader Kim Jong Un came into power in 2011.
The isolated country last tested a nuclear device in 2013.
More than 160 countries have ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) since 1996. India and Pakistan have also conducted nuclear tests since then and are among eight countries including the United States and China preventing the treaty coming into force.
"I sincerely hope that this will serve as the final wake-up call to the international community to outlaw all nuclear
testing by bringing the CTBT into force," Zerbo said.
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