United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned North Korea’s nuclear test as “profoundly destabilising for regional security”. His spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Sunday urged the country’s leadership to cease such acts.

“This act is yet another serious breach of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s international obligations and undermines international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts,” Dujarric said.

Security Council meets

The UN Security Council on Monday convened an emergency meeting to discuss Pyongyang’s latest act. At the meeting, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called for “the strongest possible measures” to be imposed on North Korea. She said “enough is enough” as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was “begging for war”.

“Only the strongest sanctions will enable us to resolve this problem through diplomacy,” Haley said. “War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited...Despite our efforts the North Korea nuclear programme is more advanced and more dangerous than ever.”

The nuclear test

North Korean state media on Sunday had claimed that they had successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test. This was the country’s sixth underground nuclear test since 2006. It triggered an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 on Sunday morning, which is five to six times more powerful than the seismic activity recorded after Pyongyang’s fifth nuclear test.

“The H-bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens of kilotons to hundreds of kilotons, is a multi-functional thermonuclear weapon with great destructive power, which can be detonated even at high altitudes for a super powerful attack according to strategic goals,” the Korean Central News Agency had said.

In response to the North’s nuclear test, South Korea’s military on Monday conducted a major drill. Its Army and Air Dorce conducted exercises involving long-range air-to-surface missiles to “strongly warn” Pyongyang. Seoul said more such drills were being prepared with the United States’ forces in the country.