UPDATE @ September 4 2017, 7:15am: The UN Security Council is set to hold an emergency meeting this morning after North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday.
Pyongyang says it successfully detonated an advanced hydrogen bomb at its weapons test site.
US President Donald Trump has also met with US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and their national security advisers at the White House to consider options.
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Following the meeting, Mr Mattis told reporters, ‘Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.’
In a tweet Mr Trump said they are also considering is stopping trade with any country doing business with North Korea.
The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2017
EARLIER @ September 3 2017, 5:20pm: NORTH Korea detonated an earth-shaking thermonuclear hydrogen bomb at its weapons test site on Sunday.
State-owned broadcaster Korean Central Television (KCTV) announced the test was a “complete success”.
It’s the rogue nation’s sixth nuclear test since 2006 and the first with U.S. President Donald Trump in power.
Sunday’s blast triggered an almighty explosion which, according to USGS, measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.
The seismological observatory NORSAR in Norway said the blast produced an explosive yield of 120 kilotons.
That makes it by far the largest nuclear test ever to be carried out by North Korea.
In comparison, the explosive yield of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 was estimated at 15 kilotons TNT, while the device dropped on Nagasaki three days later was 20 kilotons TNT.
The test came hours after the North announced it had built an advanced thermonuclear hydrogen bomb.
An earlier report by KCTV claimed the bomb was small enough to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile.
How the story broke:
4PM SUNDAY | JAPAN has confirmed North Korea has conducted another nuclear test – its sixth since 2006.
It comes after a shallow earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale was detected near the rogue nation’s only known nuclear testing site at Punggyeri, in the North Hamgyong Province.
Previous nuclear tests have triggered artificial earthquake’s here in the past. This one is, by far, the biggest to date.
Experts estimate today’s nuclear explosion produced a yield stronger than 100 kilotons, which, if correct, would dwarf the rogue nation’s last nuclear test of around 20 kilotons in September last year.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said Sunday’s blast was at least ten times as powerful as previous nuclear tests.
“After examining the data we concluded that it was a nuclear test,” Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters following an urgent meeting of Japan’s National Security Council.
It’s understood Japan’s Ministry of Defence dispatched at least three military jets to test radiation levels.
The atomic test came only hours after the nuclear-armed nation announced it had finally developed an advanced thermonuclear hydrogen bomb small enough to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile.
North Korea is expected to broadcast a “major announcement” on Korean Central Television (KCTV) at 3pm Pyongyang time (4.30pm AEST).
The state-owned broadcaster is the only official source of television news for North Koreans.
2:20PM SUNDAY | THERE are concerns North Korea has conducted yet another nuclear test, despite repeated global warnings not to, after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake was detected in the country.
The USGS National Earthquake Information Center said the tremor was an explosion, centered near the site where the North has detonated nuclear blasts in the past.
It first measured in at 5.6 on the Richter scale but has since been revised up to a much stronger 6.3.
If the explosion proves to have been triggered by a nuclear blast, it will be the rogue nation’s sixth such test and its first with U.S President Donald Trump in power.
News of the explosion and possible nuclear test was announced by South Korea media a short time ago.
The South has convened an urgent national security council meeting.
The explosion came just hours after the North announced it had successfully built a thermonuclear H-bomb small enough to be fitted to an intercontinental ballistic missile.
FIRST: NORTH Korea claims to have successfully built a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb small enough to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States, it has been reported.
The leader of the North Kim Jong-un inspected the weapon at the country’s Nuclear Weapons Institute, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.
The state news service cited Kim referring to the device as a “thermonuclear weapon with super explosive power”.
However, U.S. officials remain skeptical of the claims, with many left questioning whether Pyongyang has actually managed to successfully miniaturise its weapons, or whether it even has a working H-bomb.
The worrying development comes after the rogue nation claims to have carried out two successful tests of its biggest ICBM yet – the Hwasong-14 which experts claim is capable of reaching “anywhere in the world”.
A test of the weapon on July 4 saw the missile fly 580 miles (933 km) and reach an altitude of 1,741 miles (2,802 km) in its 39 minutes of flight before plunging into Japanese waters – or a reported total flying distance of 8,000 km.