Defying the resolutions of United Nations Security Council, North Korea on Tuesday conducted its third, long-threatened nuclear test.
The test took place in the north-east of the country just before noon local time.
“It was confirmed that the nuclear test that was carried out at a high level in a safe and perfect manner using a miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment,” The official K.C.N.A. news service of North Korea announced.
Pyongyang said the test was an act of self-defense against U.S. hostility and threatened to take stronger steps if necessary. Stronger UN sanctions, backed by China which is country’s sole major economic and diplomatic ally, were imposed on the country after they launched a long-range rocket in December last year.
“This nuclear test was only the first response we took with maximum restraint,” an unnamed spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry said in a statement carried by KCNA.
“If the United States continues to come out with hostility and complicates the situation, we will be forced to take stronger, second and third responses in consecutive steps.”
An emergency U.N. Security Council meeting was held following the test at which its members “strongly condemned” the test. Other countries have also condemned the test.
While it used plutonium in previous nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, North Korea’s Tuesday test is believed to have based on highly enriched uranium and more powerful than the previous two.