UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations chief said Monday a second nuclear test by North Korea would represent "a clear violation" of a UN Security Council resolution, as the council called an emergency session to discuss the matter.
North Korea earlier said it carried out a powerful underground nuclear that was much larger than one it conducted in 2006. Russia's Defence Ministry confirmed an atomic explosion occurred early Monday in northeastern North Korea and estimated that its strength was similar to bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Second World War.
The 15-member Security Council is meeting at 4 p.m. Monday at UN headquarters in New York to discuss the crisis.
"I sincerely hope that the Security Council will take necessary corresponding measures," Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told The Associated Press during a visit to Copenhagen, declining to specify what further measures, or sanctions, he would urge the council members to take.
Ban, who was in the Danish capital for a global business summit on climate change, said he would closely monitor the meeting in New York.
New testing by North Korea would undermine peace and security in the region, Ban said, and he urged the Communist country "to refrain from taking any actions which will deteriorate the situation."
"I'm deeply disturbed by a report of nuclear testing," he said. "If it is confirmed, it is a clear violation of Security Council resolution 1718 of 2006. And it runs counter to the ongoing international community's efforts to curb nuclear proliferations."
The 2006 UN resolution was adopted after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test explosion in October of that year.
Ban also said the North Korean test "will create negative impact to ongoing negotiation on nuclear disarmament."
"They should have come to the dialogue table and resolved all the issues through peaceful means," he said. Nuclear testing by North Korea "creates tensions in the region and it creates negative impact to regional peace and security."
Pyongyang also test-fired three short-range, ground-to-air missiles Monday from the same northeastern site where it launched a rocket last month, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed sources. UN resolutions bar North Korea from engaging in any ballistic missile-related activity.