North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date on Sunday, declaring "perfect success" with an advanced hydrogen bomb and drawing condemnation from Asian neighbors, Europe and the United States.
Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test since 2006 was the first detonation during the seven-month-old administration of President Donald Trump, who condemned North Korea as a "rogue nation" whose policies are “very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”
North Korea’s latest nuclear test at its Punggye-ri testing site was recorded by the United States Geological Survey as a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. South Korea’s meteorological agency said Sunday’s explosion was as much as six times the size of its most recent test, in September 2016.
"North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States," Trump wrote in a series of tweets posted Sunday morning.
“North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success," added the president.
Trump's tweet also underscored his skepticism about the utility of diplomacy with North Korea, taking a dig at U.S. ally South Korea's efforts to open dialogue and resume stalled cross-border projects with the North.
“South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” wrote Trump.
South Korea also condemned the test, with President Moon Jae-in quoted by an aide as saying he would “never allow North Korea to continue advancing its nuclear and missile technologies.”
Trump spoke by telephone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before the test, the White House said.
“The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of close cooperation between the United States, Japan and South Korea in the face of the growing threat from North Korea,” the White House said in a statement.
China's foreign ministry joined the chorus of criticism of North Korea.
“The Chinese government resolutely opposes and strongly condemns this,” the ministry said in a statement.
“China will work together with the international community to comprehensively and completely implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council of the UN, unswervingly push forward the denuclearization of the peninsula, and unswervingly maintain the peace and stability of the peninsula,” it added.
North Korean state media said that the test of the accuracy of an “H-bomb to be placed at the payload of the ICBM” was a "perfect success."
North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time in July, asserting after two firings that month that they could now reach the United States mainland. Last week North Korea firing a missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean, in what was seen as a drill for a missile attack on Guam, a U.S. territory.
CNN quoted NORSAR, a Norway-based group that monitors nuclear tests,as saying the device tested on Sunday was more than eight times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.