By Dona Boulos
North Korea continued to challenge the international community on Tuesday by conducting its third nuclear test.
According to the CBC, the nuclear device was detonated in an underground test site and hours later was confirmed by earthquakes with magnitudes between 4.9 and 5.2 detected by South Korean, American and Japanese monitoring agencies.
China has joined the U.S., Japan and South Korea in condemning the test and Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, is calling it reckless and provocative, according to CTV News.
“It is a political act. They’re doing something in defiance on both world opinion and the United States and the wishes of their allies, China,” said Richard Muller, a physicist at University of California, to @HumberNews reporter Mamta Lulla.
LISTEN: Physicist Richard Muller on N. Korea’s action
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that Tuesday’s test was in response to “outrageous” hostility from the U.S. and that Pyongyang was protecting its authority.
U.S. President Barack Obama who was scheduled to give his state of the union address on Tuesday, called the nuclear testing a “highly provocative act”, reported CBC.
“This does not put them in a position where they can get any concessions or should get any concessions from the rest of the world,” said Muller.
“This nuclear test was only the first response we took with maximum restraint,” said a North Korean Ministry spokesman in a statement, reported Reuters.
The spokesman said if the U.S. continues their hostility, they will “be forced to take stronger, second and third responses in consecutive steps”.
The UN Security Council held an emergency and closed-door meeting on Tuesday morning.
“Members around the world including every member of this security council agree that this test was an extremely regrettable act, the actions of north Korea are a threat to regional peace and security, international peace and security,” said Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, at a press conference on Tuesday.
“They are not acceptable, they will not be tolerated and they will be met with North Korea’s increasing isolation and pressure under United Nation sanctions.”