While U.S. media initially reported an ‘earthquake’ had struck North Korea, foreign media including the BBC broke the news that North Korea had conducted an underground nuclear weapons test late yesterday. The reclusive totalitarian country conducted its first underground nuclear weapons test in 2006 and has conducted long range missile tests as recently as April of this year. Early reports indicate that this underground detonation was significantly more powerful than the 2006 test, and was comparable in its power to the U.S. weapons used during World War II in attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
South Korean leaders have already met in emergency sessions and several countries including Japan have called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council, which will occur today. North Korea’s test has been denounced by President Barack Obama (D) as a threat to international peace and a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. It is unclear at this point what action, if any, will be taken by the world community against North Korea for its ongoing offensive weapons development programs.