Rolling Updates: North Korea Nuclear Test

February 11th, 2013

Update 0317 EST: According to Reuters, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has released its first statements on the nuclear test, strongly urging North Korea not to take any actions to worsen the situation, to abide by non-nuclear commitment, and urging all parties to keep calm and solve issues through dialogue. In addition, it called for a solution under the framework of the six-party talks.

Update 0246 EST: Japanese news service Kyodo reports that Japan will widen its entry ban for pro-Pyongyang residents following today’s nuclear test

Update 0226 EST: 


Update 0222 EST: President-elect Park Geun-hye says that “government will not tolerate a nuclear North Korea”

Update 0157 EST: Via Martyn Williams, video of North Korean television announcing the test has been posted (in Korean)

Update 0154 EST: President Obama released a statement condemning the test:

North Korea announced today that it conducted a third nuclear test. This is a highly provocative act that, following its December 12 ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates North Korea’s obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation. North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region.

These provocations do not make North Korea more secure. Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies. We will strengthen close coordination with allies and partners and work with our Six-Party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other UN member states to pursue firm action.

Update 0100EST: North Korea’s official state mouthpiece the KCNA said the nuclear explosion ‘great, stronger and higher’ than last time, and had ‘no negative impacts’.

Update 1248EST: The Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary said in a press conference at 1330 local time they would take “all possible measures to prepare for any contingencies in order to ensure safety and peace of mind of the public” and asked that people “carry on with their normal lives and activities as normal.

Update 1245EST: South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye received an emergency briefing from transition team officials Tuesday on what appeared to be North Korea’s third nuclear test, officials said.

Update 1237EST: South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said Minister Kim Sung-hwan spoke with U.S. Sec of State John Kerry after nuclear test reports

Update 1205EST: USGS has upgraded its magnitude report of 4.9 to 5.1.

Update 1203EST: Earthquake of 4.6M reported in China just two minutes before suspected North Korean nuclear detonation. Earthquake took place near Tibet.

Update 1148EST: CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Toth makes a statement on activity: ”The event shows explosion-like characteristics and its location is roughly congruent with the 2006 and 2009 DPRK nuclear tests…If confirmed as a nuclear test, this act would constitute a clear threat to international peace and security.”

Update 1142EST: Steve Herman at Voice of America reports that a source in Yanji, China, reported that a swaying motion was felt for 10 seconds around the time of the blast. Yonhap add that 163 nationals residing in the Kaesong Industrial Complex are reported to be safe.

Update 1139EST: Reports suggest the test could have been anywhere between 6-10 kilotons. South Korean authorities are currently warning of the potential for a second test imminently.

Update 1120EST: N. Korea notified US, China of nuclear test plans a day earlier, S. Korean official tells Yonhap News

Update 1114EST: United Nations Security Council will convene at 9AM tomorrow to discuss the test. South Korea holds the current presidency of the Security Council.

Update 1058EST: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak announces emergency meeting with the National Security Council at 1300KST, while other reports suggest North Korea already warned U.S. and China of test.

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About the Author

Chad O'Carroll

Chad O'Carroll has written on North Korea since 2010 and writes between London and Seoul.