World leaders on Friday condemned what was reportedly North Korea's biggest nuclear test, after which the United Nations Security Council agreed to frame new sanctions against the isolated country. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the council to take "appropriate action" against the "brazen breach" of the international body's resolutions, AFP reported.
North Korea had confirmed that it had conducted a "nuclear warhead explosion" test on Friday morning. Pyongyang said the test – the fifth one this year – was a response to the international sanctions imposed against it and was meant to "counter US hostility". The 10-kiloton test detected from the Punggye-ri nuclear facility had created "artificial seismic waves" and triggered a quake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale.
United States President Barack Obama vowed to push for new sanctions against the country, saying the nuclear test was "a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability". South Korean President Park Geun-Hye criticised North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for his "maniacal recklessness". While Japan condemned the nuclear test as "absolutely unacceptable", Russia expressed "extreme concern" and India "deplored" it.
The UNSC met at the request of the US, Japan and South Korea to try to reach an agreement on a way to respond to the nuclear test. While it remains unclear whether Pyongyang ally China will support the proposed stricter measures against the country, France said the new sanctions were "indispensable".