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Last night, when reports that a 4.9 earthquake was detected in North Korea, South Korea said there was a high possibility that nuclear tests were the cause.

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They weren’t wrong.

Sources say that N. Korea conducted a nuclear test on Tuesday and that the “explosion-like” earthquake that monitoring agencies around the globe detected was, in fact, “unnatural.”

According to the New York Times, the KCNA news service confirmed the reports.

The KCNA said it used a “miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously” and that the test “did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment.”

The nuclear testing poses a new challenge for the Obama administration in its effort to keep the country from becoming a full-fledged nuclear power.

According to monitoring agencies worldwide, the seismic activity was certainly caused b N. Korea’s defiance.

Many nations initially detected the test as seismic activity centered near the same location where the North conducted tests in 2006 and 2009. The United States Geological Survey said it was only a kilometer underground, an indication consistent with a nuclear blast. And in Vienna, the organization that monitors the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty said that tremor had “clear explosionlike characteristics.”

Preliminary estimates suggested a test far larger than the previous two conducted by the North, though probably less powerful than the first bomb the United States dropped on Japan, in Hiroshima, in 1945.

The bold move is a big step towards N. Korea’s goal to building a warhead under Kim Jong Un.

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The Obama administration is not taking the test lightly. According to Reuters, President Obama said that the North Korea nuclear test is ‘highly provocative act’ that ‘undermines regional stability.”

The Obama administration has already threatened to take additional action to penalize the North through the United Nations in the event of a test. But the fact is that there are few sanctions left to apply against the most unpredictable country in Asia. The only penalty that would truly hurt the North would be a cutoff of oil and other aid from China.”

Looks like ish is about to hit the fan. Do you think the U.S. will have to take action?

SOURCE: NY Times

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