The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded a 5.1 tremor on the Richter Scale in North Korea early Tuesday in what was first believed to be, and later confirmed, an underground nuclear weapon test by the North Korean government. The country's previous tests, carried out in 2006 and 2009, were substantially smaller.
The explosion was recorded by USGS seismographs about 24km (15mi) ENE of Sungjibaegam, North Korea at a very shallow depth of less than 1 km. The USGS later changed the classification of this event to a nuclear explosion based on Ambassador Rice's statements at the United Nations Security Council Stakeout.
North Korea also claims the device was miniaturized, making it suitable for launching atop a missile, but had "greater explosive force" than previous tests. North Korea successfully tested a long-range missile in December.
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The test was immediately condemned by nations around the globe, including North Korea's only significant ally, China. Some experts suggested that the test was done to draw attention on the eve of President Obama's State of the Union address, to be given on Tuesday night.
The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting today at which its members "strongly condemned" the test and vowed to start work on appropriate measures in response, the president of the council said.
President Obama called the test a "highly provocative act" that hurt regional stability.
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