New York: The UN Tuesday strongly condemned North Korea`s underground nuclear test as "deplorable", saying it was a "clear and grave violation" of the Security Council resolutions and defied the unequivocal call from the world community to refrain from "provocative" measures.
"It is deplorable that Pyongyang defied the strong and unequivocal call from the international community to refrain from any further provocative measures," said a UN statement issued by the Spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The UN Secretary-General is gravely concerned about the negative impact of this deeply destabilising act on regional stability as well as the global efforts for nuclear non-proliferation, the statement said.
Ban urged North Korea to reverse course and work towards de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, his spokesperson said.
Ban exuded confidence that the UN Security Council will remain united and take appropriate action.
The third nuclear test by North Korea, the first two conducted in 2006 and 2009, have shocked entire world.
While there was no immediate reaction from the White House, the top US intelligence body today said that it is aware of the "a seismic event with explosive characteristics" in North Korea.
"The Intelligence Community is aware of a seismic event with explosive characteristics in North Korea and we are evaluating all relevant information," said a statement issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on the seismic event in North Korea.
Vienna-based Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) said it has detected unusual seismic activity on the lines of that of a nuclear test.
"Today our monitoring stations picked up evidence of an unusual seismic event in the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The event shows explosion-like characteristics and its location is roughly congruent with the 2006 and 2009 DPRK nuclear tests," Tibor ToTh, CTBTO Executive Secretary said.
North Korea ignored a "strong warning" from China against staging its nuclear weapon test, a UN diplomat has said on condition of anonymity.
"For now, further data and analysis are necessary to establish what kind of event this is. If confirmed as a nuclear test, this act would constitute a clear threat to international peace and security, and challenges efforts made to strengthen global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in particular by ending nuclear testing," ToTh said.
Russia condemned the test saying Moscow considered it a violation of UN Security Council resolution.
"We condemn these actions by North Korea and see them, along with the recent ballistic rocket satellite launch, as a violation of corresponding UN Security Council resolutions," a foreign ministry source was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.
The UNSC ordered emergency talks today on the nuclear weapon test.
The US Geological Survey said it detected a 4.9-magnitude tremor at 11:58 am local time in North Korea.
Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow for Northeast Asia in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation said that Pyongyang has once again flouted international efforts to rein in the recalcitrant regime by conducting a nuclear test.
"What is clear is that North Korea has again defied the UN Security Council as well as renewed efforts by China to prevent its troublesome neighbour from ratcheting up tension on the Korean Peninsula. Kim Jong-un has shown himself to be no less belligerent or dangerous than his predecessors," he said in a statement.
"The magnitude of the event is larger than North Korea`s two previous nuclear tests. The South Korean Ministry of Defense preliminarily concluded the test may have been 6 kilotons or larger. One nuclear expert assessed it could have been 10 kilotons, significantly larger than the 2006 and 2009 tests which were 1 kiloton and 4 kilotons, respectively," Klingner said.