Japan confirmed that North Korea has conducted a nuclear test on Sunday, and registered a formal protest with Pyongyang after a major explosion at the isolated nation’s main test site.
“The government confirms that North Korea conducted a nuclear test after examining information from the weather agency and other information,” Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono told reporters.
He said the government registered a protest with the North Korean embassy in Beijing prior to the confirmation, calling any test “extremely unforgivable”.
Earlier, South Korea’s military had expressed suspicion that North Korea had conducted its sixth nuclear test, after it detected a “strong earthquake.”
The strong tremor was felt hours after Pyongyang claimed that its leader has inspected a hydrogen bomb meant for a new intercontinental ballistic missile.
South Korea’s weather agency and the Joint Chief of Staff said an artificial 5.6 magnitude quake occurred at 12:29 pm local time, in Kilju, northern Hamgyong Province.
The US Geological Survey called the first quake an explosion with a magnitude 6.3.
Shortly after, Yonhap news agency said a second quake was detected with a magnitude 4.6 but South Korea’s weather agency denied another quake occurred.