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North Korea says it has successfully conducted a nuclear explosion test. The

country says the test will lead to it developing improved nuclear weapons. Nations around the world quickly condemned the test. (Sept. 9) AP

TOKYO — North Korea claimed Friday that it successfully conducted a "higher level" test of a nuclear weapon, its second in eight months and its fifth since 2006. The announcement drew immediate condemnation from the United States, South Korea, China and Japan.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting on the matter Friday, and President Obama warned North Korea that the United States would use "the full spectrum of U.S. defense capabilities" to defend its allies.

“To be clear, the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state,” Obama said.

The North Korean government in the capital of Pyongyang said the test was of a nuclear warhead designed to be mounted on ballistic rockets and demonstrated that it was prepared to hit back at its enemies including the United States if provoked. North Korea’s state TV said the test was "examined and confirmed."  The announcement followed seismic activity near the country's nuclear site picked up by foreign monitors.

The test violates United Nations resolutions and will further strain North Korea's already tense relations with the U.S. and other countries in the region.

China, an ally and economic lifeline for North Korea, was among the countries that swiftly reprimanded North Korea.

The White House said Obama, who was en route home from a summit in Laos, spoke by phone with South Korean President Park Geun Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Obama said the allies agreed to work with the U.N. Security Council, China and Russia to impose new sanctions on North Korea. The U.S. will also deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery to South Korea, Obama said.

Park called the detonation an act of “fanatic recklessness.”

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike told reporters the city was testing water samples and monitoring radiation levels to gauge any impact from the test in Japan.

Previous U.N. resolutions have forbidden North Korea from developing nuclear weapons or ballistic missile technology but have had little effect. Seoul estimated the test may be the North’s biggest explosive yield yet.

"We are monitoring and continuing to assess the situation in close coordination with our regional partners," Ned Price, a spokesperson for the National Security Council in Washington, said in a prepared statement.

Earlier, South Korea’s military detected a magnitude-5 earthquake near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in northeastern North Korea. It described that quake as "artificial."

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Residents look up at a big screen TV in front of Pyongyang
Residents look up at a big screen TV in front of Pyongyang railway station showing television presenter Ri Chun-Hee officially announcing that the country successfully tested a nuclear warhead earlier in the day on Sept. 9, 2016. North Korea has successfully tested a nuclear warhead, it said which said the "maniacal recklessness" of young ruler Kim Jong-Un would lead to self-destruction.  Kim Won-Jin, AFP/Getty Images
This is a national meeting to celebrate the 68th founding
This is a national meeting to celebrate the 68th founding anniversary of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Pyongyang, Sept. 9, 2016.   KCNA, AFP/Getty Images
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un while inspecting the
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un while inspecting the Taedonggang Pig Farm in Pyongyang, Aug.18, 2016  KCNA via AFP/Getty Images
A North Korean man gulps down a glass of draft beer
A North Korean man gulps down a glass of draft beer during a beer drinking competition held Aug. 12, 2016 in Pyongyang. This competition was held during a beer festival along the Taedong River in the North Korean capital.  Kim Kwang Hyon, AP
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspects the Chollima
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspects the Chollima building materials complex in Pyongyang, July 27, 2016.  KCNA, AFP/Getty Images
A surface-to-surface medium long-range strategic ballistic
A surface-to-surface medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-10, also known by the name of Musudan missile, being launched at an undisclosed location, North Korea. According to South Korea and Japan's officials, North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile off its east coast early Aug 3, 2016.  KCNA, via European Pressphoto Agency
North Korean soldiers peep into a conference room in
North Korean soldiers peep into a conference room in the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission Conference Building during a ceremony marking the 63rd anniversary of the signing of the Korean War ceasefire armistice agreement at the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea.  Kim Hong-Ji, AP
Military personnel stand during a rally at Kim Il Sung
Military personnel stand during a rally at Kim Il Sung Square July 2, 2016, in Pyongyang. They were celebrating the new title of chairman of the new State Affairs Commission given to leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting of its national parliament.  Kim Kwang Hyon, AP
A missile is fired during a drill by Hwasong artillery
A missile is fired during a drill by Hwasong artillery units of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, photo released on July 21, 2016 . North Korea said its latest ballistic missile tests trialled detonation devices for possible nuclear strikes on US targets in South Korea and were personally monitored by supreme leader Kim Jong-Un.  KCNA, AFP/Getty Images
Fairground participants ride a big swing in Pyongyang
Fairground participants ride a big swing in Pyongyang July 9, 2016.   Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
Performers meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at
Performers meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at an art performance staged by the amateur art groups of the Korean People's Army (KPA) units in Pyongyang July 16, 2016.   KCNA, AFP/Getty Images
A traffic police woman directs vehicles at a street
A traffic police woman directs vehicles at a street junction in front of a sidewalk decorated with flags of the ruling party, the Workers' Party in Pyongyang, May, 5, 2016.  Wong Maye-E, AP
North Koreans push their bicycles in the rain on a
North Koreans push their bicycles in the rain on a pathway along the Pothong River in Pyongyang.  Wong Maye-E, AP
Taxis wait for passengers at the Pyongyang train station
Taxis wait for passengers at the Pyongyang train station May 5, 2016.  Wong Maye-E, AP
People walk on a rail tracks in Pyongyang, April 18,
People walk on a rail tracks in Pyongyang, April 18, 2016.  Franck Robichon, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
People ride the escalators at the Puhung metro station
People ride the escalators at the Puhung metro station in Pyongyang, April 16, 2016.   Franck Robichon, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
A woman carries a bag next to a board in Pyongyang
A woman carries a bag next to a board in Pyongyang suburbs April 17, 2016.   Franck Robichon, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
City view of Pyongyang, April 17, 2016.
City view of Pyongyang, April 17, 2016.   Franck Robichon, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
A metro employee on board the newest cars at the Puhung
A metro employee on board the newest cars at the Puhung metro station in Pyongyang, April, 13, 2016. They have one of the deepest metros in the world consisting of two lines with these recently added new cars.   Franck Robichon, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
A live-shell firing drill by artillery sub-units under
A live-shell firing drill by artillery sub-units under large combined units of the North Korean Army, is shown in this undated photo, under the simulated conditions of beating back enemy forces conducting a surprise night landing. The photo was released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 12, 2016.  KCNA via AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong Un, left, Supreme Commander of the Korean
Kim Jong Un, left, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, issues an order to conduct the ground jet test of a new type high-power engine of inter-continental ballistic rocket and comes to the Sohae Space Center to guide the test.  KCNA via EPA
A rocket is displayed during the Immortal Flower Festival
A rocket is displayed during the Immortal Flower Festival 'Kimilsungia' in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 13, 2016. The country is preparing to mark the 'Day of the Sun' celebrating the day of birth of the country's founder, Kim Il-Sung. on April 15.  Franck Robichon, EPA
Young women participate in a rehearsal ahead of the
Young women participate in a rehearsal ahead of the 'Day of the Sun' celebrations at Kim Il Sung Square on Wednesday, in Pyongyang.  Franck Robichon, EPA
This is a view of the Pyongyang, North Korea skyline
This is a view of the Pyongyang, North Korea skyline on April 12, 2016.  Franck Robichon, EPA
Pyongyang Station is shown in late evening April 12th
Pyongyang Station is shown in late evening April 12th in Pyongyang,.  Franck Robichon, EPA
An image of the operation of a new type large-caliber
An image of the operation of a new type large-caliber multiple rocket launching system at an undisclosed location in North Korea is released from KCNA on March 24, 2016. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has claimed an "historic" advance in the country's nuclear strike capability with the successful test of a solid-fuel rocket engine, state media said.  KCNA via AFP/Getty Images
A man cycles past the Kim Il Sung square on Wednesday,
A man cycles past the Kim Il Sung square on Wednesday, ahead of the 'Day of the Sun' celebrations in Pyongyang, North Korea.  Franck Robichon, EPA
Young boys get the view of Pyongyang, North Korea from
Young boys get the view of Pyongyang, North Korea from a bus window, April 12.  Franck Robichon, EPA
Waitresses work on April 12, in a restaurant of the
Waitresses work on April 12, in a restaurant of the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea.  Franck Robichon, EPA
A tramway rides past the Pyongyang Station in Pyongyang,
A tramway rides past the Pyongyang Station in Pyongyang, on April 12, 2016.  Franck Robichon, EPA
Pedestrians walk along a street in Pyongyang, North
Pedestrians walk along a street in Pyongyang, North Korea.  Franck Robichon, EPA
A large mosaic representing Kim Il-Sung, left, and
A large mosaic representing Kim Il-Sung, left, and Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang suburbs, North Korea is shown on April 12, 2016. An ethnic Korean U.S. citizen was sentenced to 10 years in jail for espionage.  Franck Robichon, EPA
A worker unloads a bag of fertilizer from a conveyer
A worker unloads a bag of fertilizer from a conveyer belt at Hungnam Fertilizer Complex in Hungnam, South Hamgyong Province, North Korea, March 13, 2016.  Kim Kwang Hyon, AP
A shipbuilder works at the Hongwon Shipyard in Hongwon
A shipbuilder works at the Hongwon Shipyard in Hongwon County, South Hamgyong Province, March 12, 2016.   Jon Chol Jin, AP
Newly manufactured shoes are seen at Wonsan Shoes Factory
Newly manufactured shoes are seen at Wonsan Shoes Factory in the Kangwon Province, March 14, 2016. North Koreans are being mobilized en masse to boost production and demonstrate their loyalty to leader Kim Jong Un in a 70-day campaign aimed at wiping out "indolence and slackness." To show their loyalty, workers are putting in extra hours to boost production in everything from coal mining to fisheries.   Kim Kwang Hyon, AP
A North Korean soldier walks past a truck near goods
A North Korean soldier walks past a truck near goods piled up on a dockyard in Sinuiju, North Korea, March 14, 2016.  AP
North Koreans load goods on a dockyard with a Chinese
North Koreans load goods on a dockyard with a Chinese and North Korean national flags in Sinuiju, North Korea, as seen from Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province, Feb. 26, 2016 .   AP
This undated photo released by North Korea's official
This undated photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 2, 2016 shows a missile test of a new-type anti-air guided weapon system at an unknown location.   KCNA, AFP/Getty Images
 Kim Jong-Un inspecting the test of a new-type anti-air
Kim Jong-Un inspecting the test of a new-type anti-air guided weapon system at an unknown location. photo released on April 2, 2016.  KCNA, AFP/Getty Images
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting the Plant
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting the Plant under the Ryongsong Machine Complex in North Korea.  KCNA, AFP/Getty Images
A woman cycles with her child riding in a basket in
A woman cycles with her child riding in a basket in Kaesong on Feb. 22, 2016.  Wong Maye-E, AP
Bicycle riders in Kaesong, Feb. 22, 2016.
Bicycle riders in Kaesong on Feb. 22, 2016.   Wong Maye-E, AP
Korean People's Army Lt. Col. Nam Dong Ho is silhouetted
Korean People's Army Lt. Col. Nam Dong Ho is silhouetted against the truce village of Panmunjom at the Demilitarized Zone on Feb. 22, 2016.  Wong Maye-E, AP
The North Korea's women soccer team fills up custom
The North Korea's women soccer team fills up custom forms in front of a globe structure as they prepare for departure to Beijing at Pyongyang's International Airport on Feb. 23, 2016.   Wong Maye-E, AP
Two people cycle past a planetarium at the Three Revolutions
Two people cycle past a planetarium at the Three Revolutions Exhibition Hall in Pyongyang on Feb. 23, 2016.   Wong Maye-E, AP
A cashier prepares a receipt for customers at a local
A cashier prepares a receipt for customers at a local restaurant in Kaesong on Feb. 22, 2016.   Wong Maye-E, AP
Solar panels hang from windows of an apartment building
Solar panels hang from windows of an apartment building in Kaesong.   Wong Maye-E, AP
Soldiers guard the truce village of Panmunjom at the
Soldiers guard the truce village of Panmunjom at the Demilitarized Zone on Feb. 22, 2016.  Wong Maye-E, AP
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attends a concert marking
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attends a concert marking the 70th founding anniversary of the KPA military band in Pyongyang, in this photo released Feb, 23, 2016.  Korean Central News Agency
A boy pushes a cart of cabbage along a main road in
A boy pushes a cart of cabbage along a main road in Hyangsan County, north of Pyongyang, on Dec. 3, 2015.  Wong Maye-E, AP
South Korean army soldiers close a gate in Paju, near
South Korean army soldiers close a gate in Paju, near the border with North and South Korea, on Feb. 8, 2016.  Ahn Young-joon, AP
A North Korean woman walks down the streets of Pyongyang,
A North Korean woman walks down the streets of Pyongyang on Dec. 1, 2015.  Wong Maye-E, AP
The 105-story pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel towers
The 105-story pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel towers over residential apartments and snow-covered trees and fields in Pyongyang on Dec. 3, 2015.  Wong Maye-E, AP
People ride in a boat in the Yalu River near Dandong,
People ride in a boat in the Yalu River near Dandong on Feb. 9, 2016.  Helene Franchineau, AP
North Korean soldiers patrol next to the border fence
North Korean soldiers patrol next to the border fence near the town of Sinuiju on Feb. 10, 2016.  Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images
A man works on a boat on the banks of the Yalu River
A man works on a boat on the banks of the Yalu River on Feb. 10, 2016.  Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images
The sun rises over the bridge on the banks of the Yalu
The sun rises over a bridge on the banks of the Yalu River in the Chinese border town of Dandong opposite the North Korean town of Sinuiju on Feb.10, 2016.  Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images
A man rides his bicycle in front of a portion of the
A man rides his bicycle in front of a portion of the Great Wall on Hwanggumpyong Island, which is located in the middle of the Yalu River between the North Korean town of Sinuiju and the Chinese town of Dandong, on Feb. 9, 2016.  Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images
A man and his son on a boat on of the Yalu River at
A man and his son ride in a boat on the Yalu River near the town of Sinuiju across from the Chinese border town of Dandong on Feb. 9, 2016.  Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images
People and a truck embark a boat on the Yalu River
People board a boat on the Yalu River near the town of Sinuiju across from the Chinese border town of Dandong on Feb. 9, 2016.  Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images
North Korean soldiers on the banks of the Yalu River
North Korean soldiers stand on the banks of the Yalu River near the town of Sinuiju on Feb. 8, 2016.  Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images
North Korean soldiers stand at their watchtower as
North Korean soldiers in a watchtower observe a soldier walking on the banks of the Yalu River in the town of Sinuiju on Feb. 8, 2016.  Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images
A North Korean soldier smokes a cigarette on the banks
A North Korean soldier smokes a cigarette on the banks of the Yalu River in the North Korean town of Sinuiju, in an image taken from across the river in the Chinese border town of Dandong Feb. 8, 2016.   Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images
North Korean military personnel celebrate after North
North Korean military personnel celebratein Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang Jan. 8, 2016, afterNorth Korea said it conducted a hydrogen bomb test.  Jon Chol Jin, AP
A pair of North Korean soldiers walk through a field
A pair of North Korean soldiers walk through a field in Sakchu county, North Korea, Jan. 7, 2016.   AP
North Koreans clap in a rally, after North Korea said
North Koreans clap at a rally after North Korea said it had conducted a hydrogen bomb test.  Kim Kwang Hyon, AP
A North Korean soldier looks across the border with
A North Korean soldier looks across the border with China from his post in Sakchu County, North Korea, Jan. 7, 2016.  AP
North Korean veterans gather before the start of a
North Korean veterans gather before the start of a parade in Pyongyang, North Korea. Leader Kim Jong Un declared that his country was ready to stand up to any threat posed by the United States as he spoke at a lavish military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the North's ruling party and trumpet his third-generation leadership on Oct. 10, 2015.  Maye-E Wong, AP
A barbed wire fence at a military check point near
A barbed-wire fence marks a military checkpoint near the Demilitarized Zone that separates South and North Korea on Jan. 6, 2016, in Paju, South Korea.   Chung Sung-Jun, Getty Images
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un watches a military
North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un watches a military firing contest in a photo released Jan. 5, 2016. Reports did not specify when Kim viewed the contest, but it is presumed to be his first military-related field guidance of 2016.   Rodong Sinmun via European Pressphoto Agency
North Koreans watch a news broadcast on a video screen
North Koreans watch a news broadcast on a video screen in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Jan. 6, 2016.   Kim Kwang Hyon, AP
North Koreans watch a news broadcast on a video screen
North Koreans watch a news broadcast on a video screen outside a Railway Station in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Jan. 6, 2016.   Kim Kwang Hyon, AP
Hyeon Soo Lim who pastors the Light Korean Presbyterian
Hyeon Soo Lim, pastor of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, is escorted to his sentencing in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Dec. 16, 2015. North Korea's Supreme Court sentenced him to life in prison with hard labor for what it called crimes against the state.  Jon Chol Jin, AP
Members of North Korea's Moranbong Band perform with
Members of North Korea's Moranbong Band perform with the State Merited Chorus in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Oct. 11, 2015.  Charles Dharapak, AP
A North Korean soldier gathers straw in a field in
A North Korean soldier gathers straw in a field in Sinuiju, North Korea, seen from across the border in Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province on Jan. 6, 2016.  Chinatopix via AP
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un accompanied by commanding
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, accompanied by commanding officers of the Korean People's Army, visit the Kumsusan Palace where his father, Kim Jong-Il, lies, on Dec 17, 2015.   Korean Central News Agency via AFP/Getty Images
A picture made available on October 25, 2015 shows
A picture made available on Oct. 25, 2015, shows a general view of Mount Kumgang covered in fog on North Korea's east coast.  Yonhap via European Pressphoto Agency
This picture released from North Korea's official Korean
This picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Nov. 8, 2015, shows Kim Jong Un attending a photo session with military education officers.  AFP/Getty Images
A North Korean traffic police woman directs vehicles
A North Korean traffic police woman directs vehicles at an intersection on Sept. 15, 2015, in Pyongyang, North Korea, as residents commute at the end of the workday.   Wong Maye-E, AP
This undated picture released from North Korea's official
This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 14, 2015, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting the construction site of the Paektusan Hero Youth power station in Ryanggaung province.  KCNA via AFP/Getty Images
A picture released by the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper
A picture released by the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling North Korean Workers Party, on Sept. 8, 2015, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center front, and Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, second from right, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and first vice-president of the Council of State, watching an art performance by the Moranbong Band and the State Merited Chorus in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Sept. 7, 2015. Bermudez led a Cuban delegation to North Korea to mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between North Korea and Cuba.   Rodong Sinmun, European Pressphoto Agency
This undated photo released by North Korea's official
This undated photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sept. 5, 2015, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, at the Sinuiju Measuring Instrument Factory in North Pyongan Province.   KCNA via AFP/Getty Images
In this Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015 photo, North Koreans
In this Aug. 23, 2015, photo, North Koreans read the public copy of a daily newspaper on the platform of a subway station in Pyongyang, North Korea.   Dita Alangkara, AP
A station officer waist for trains to arrive on the
A station officer waits for trains to arrive on the platform of a subway station in Pyongyang, North Korea, Aug. 22, 2015.   Dita Alangkara, AP
Portaits of the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung,
Portaits of the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il glow on the facade of a building as the Juche Tower, top left, one of the city's landmarks, is seen in the background at dawn in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Aug. 19, 2015.  Dita Alangkara, AP
This undated picture released from North Korea's official
This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Aug. 18, 2015, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from left, visiting the Taedonggang Combined Fruit Farm in Pyongyang.   KCNA via AFP/Getty Images
In this Aug. 16, 2015 photo, people queue up at kiosk
People line up Aug. 16, 2015, at kiosk in Pyongyang, North Korea. Street stalls that offer North Koreans a place to spend -- or make -- money on everything from snow cones to DVDs are flourishing in Pyongyang and other North Korean cities, modest but growing forms of private commerce in a country where capitalism is officially anathema.   Dita Alangkara, AP
A newlywed couple pose, during a photo shoot on Sijung
A newlywed couple pose, during a photo shoot on Sijung Ho beach in North Korea, on Aug. 18, 2015. The couple gathered with their friends and family members to have their pictures taken after their wedding ceremony.   Dita Alangkara, AP
People dance during the celebration of the Liberation
People dance during the celebration of the Liberation Day as the portrait of North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il are seen in the background at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Aug. 15, 2015. Thousands of people take part in the celebration that commemorates the 17th anniversary of the liberation of the Koreas from Japanese colonial rule.   Dita Alangkara, AP
North Korean soldiers watch as fireworks explode, Monday,
North Korean soldiers watch as fireworks explode, July 27, 2015, in Pyongyang, North Korea, as part of celebrations for the 62nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.   Wong Maye-E, AP
North Koreans bow in front of bronze statues of the
North Koreans bow in front of bronze statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Munsu Hill, July 27, 2015, in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Koreans gathered to offer flowers and pay their respects to their late leaders as part of celebrations for the 62nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.   Wong Maye-E, AP
Staff wait at the check-in counters of the new international
Staff wait at the check-in counters of the new international airport terminal building at Pyongyang airport, July 1, 2015, in Pyongyang, North Korea. The unveiling underscores an effort to attract more tourists and to spruce up the country ahead of the celebration of a major anniversary of the founding of its ruling Worker's Party in October this year.   Kim Kwang Hyon, AP
In this Saturday, June 27, 2015, photo, an Air Koryo
An Air Koryo plane sits on the tarmac in front of the new Pyongyang International Airport terminal building, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Air Koryo is the only carrier to have been awarded just one star in rankings released recently by the UK-based SkyTrax consultancy agency.  Wong Maye-E, AP
Men and women pump their fists in the air and chant
Men and women pump their fists in the air and chant "defend!" as they carry propaganda slogans calling for reunification of their country during the "Pyongyang Mass Rally on the Day of the Struggle Against the U.S.," attended by approximately 100,000 North Koreans to mark the 65th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War at the Kim Il Sung stadium, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Pyongyang, North Korea. The month of June in North Korea is known as the "Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month" and it's a time for North Koreans to swarm to war museums, mobilize for gatherings denouncing the evils of the United States and join in a general, nationwide whipping up of the anti-American sentiment.  Wong Maye-E, AP
In this June 24, 2015, photo, a farmer stands in front
A farmer stands in front of a field June 24, 2015, in South Hwanghae, North Korea. There has been almost no rain in this part of the country, according to farmers and local officials interviewed by the Associated Press. While the situation in the area that the AP visited looks grim, it is unclear how severe the drought is in the rest of the country.  Wong Maye-E, AP
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, center, visits the
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, center, visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on April 15 to celebrate the 103rd birthday of his grandfather, the late president Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang.  KCNA, AFP/Getty Images
A national meeting is held on April 14 at the Pyongyang
A national meeting is held on April 14 at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium.  KCNA via AFP/Getty Images
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, center, inspecting
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, center, inspecting Unit 1016 of Korean People's Army Air and Anti-Air Force on March 10.  KCNA via AFP/Getty Images
North Korean workers plant seedlings in a field on
North Korean workers plant seedlings in a field on Feb. 3 in Jaeryong, Hwanghae province.  KCNA via European Pressphoto Agency
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un enjoys his Dec. 1 visit
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un enjoys his Dec. 1 visit to an artillery unit at an undisclosed location.  Korean News Service via European Pressphoto Agency
A state photo from December 5 shows North Korean leader
A state photo from December 5 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observing the North Korean military's winter training at an unknown location in North Korea.   Korean News Service via, epa
Soldiers and citizens rally at Kim Il Sung Square in
Soldiers and citizens rally at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, to protest a United Nations resolution condemning their country's human rights record Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Protesters at the rally Tuesday on the square carried banners praising their leaders and condemning the United States. The banner in the center reads: "Let's defend with our lives the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea headed by supreme leader Kim Jong Un."   Jon Chol Jin, AP
North Koreans gather in front of a portrait of their
North Koreans gather in front of a portrait of their late leader Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il, right, paying respects to their late leader Kim Jong Il, to mark the third anniversary of his death, Wednesday Dec. 17 at Pyong Chon District in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea marked the end of a three-year mourning period for the late leader Kim Jong Il on Wednesday, opening the way for his son, Kim Jong Un, to put a more personal stamp on the way the country is run.   Kim Kwang Hyon, AP
This picture taken by North Korea's official Korean
This picture taken by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 17 shows North Korean people offering prayers before portraits of late leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang for the third anniversary of late leader Kim Jong-Il.  Korean News Service via, AFP/Getty Images
A December 13, handout photo shows North Korean leader
A December 13, handout photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visiting the Korean People's Army navy unit 189.  Korean News Service via, AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong-Un applauds the participants in the second
Kim Jong-Un applauds the participants in the second meeting of Korean People's Army (KPA) exemplary servicemen's families in Pyongyang in this handout image.  Korean News Service via, AFP/Getty Images
This handout picture released from North Korea's official
This handout picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 9, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un holding up a boy as he joins a photo session with the participants in the second meeting of Korean People's Army exemplary servicemen's families in Pyongyang.   Korean News Service via, AFP/Getty Images
An undated picture from North Korea's official Korean
An undated picture from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 5, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting the new year combat and political drill of the Korean People's Army  Korean News Service via, AFP/Getty Images
People enjoy a ride at the Kaeson Youth Amusement Park on Sept. 3 in Pyongyang.
People enjoy a ride at the Kaeson Youth Amusement Park on Sept. 3 in Pyongyang.  Wong Maye-E, AP
People shoot targets at an arcade at the Kaeson Youth Amusement Park.
People shoot targets at an arcade at the Kaeson Youth Amusement Park.  Wong Maye-E, AP
North Koreans enjoy an amusement park ride.
North Koreans enjoy an amusement park ride.  Wong Maye-E, AP
Women wait for customers at a makeshift photo service stand.
Women wait for customers at a makeshift photo service stand.  Wong Maye-E, AP
North Koreans scream on the free-fall ride.
North Koreans scream on the free-fall ride.  Wong Maye-E, AP
A portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un posing with judo gold medalist An Kum Ae decorates the wall at a local gymnasium on Sept. 2 in Pyongyang.
A portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un posing with judo gold medalist An Kum Ae decorates the wall at a local gymnasium on Sept. 2 in Pyongyang.  Wong Maye-E, AP
North Korean athletes practice on a trampoline.
North Korean athletes practice on a trampoline.  Wong Maye-E, AP
A North Korean subway station staff member waits for the arrival of a train on Sept. 1 in Pyongyang.
A North Korean subway station staff member waits for the arrival of a train on Sept. 1 in Pyongyang.  Wong Maye-E, AP
A boy arm wrestles with former NFL player Bob "The Beast" Sapp during a wrestling goodwill tour on Aug. 29 in Pyongyang.
A boy arm wrestles with former NFL player Bob "The Beast" Sapp during a wrestling goodwill tour on Aug. 29 in Pyongyang.  Wong Maye-E, AP
Kim Jong-Un attends the test firing of a new high-performance tactical rocket on Aug. 15.
Kim Jong-Un attends the test firing of a new high-performance tactical rocket on Aug. 15.  KNS AFP/Getty Images
People bow to portraits of the late North Korean leaders Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung on Dec. 17 in Pyongyang. It is the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il.
People bow to portraits of the late North Korean leaders Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung on Dec. 17 in Pyongyang. It is the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il.  David Guttenfelder, AP
North Koreans visit Mansu Hill to pay their respects to former leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang.
North Koreans visit Mansu Hill to pay their respects to former leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang.  AP
Soldiers prepare to place flowers at the statues of North Korean leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il on Mansu Hill.
Soldiers prepare to place flowers at the statues of North Korean leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il on Mansu Hill.  Korean Central News Agency via AFP/Getty Images
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, presides over an event to marking the second anniversary of the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, presides over an event to marking the second anniversary of the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang.  AP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends an event in Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends an event in Pyongyang.  AP
Military officials applaud during an event marking the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il.
Military officials applaud during an event marking the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il.  AP
People bow at the statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il on Mansu Hill.
People bow at the statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il on Mansu Hill.  Korean Central News Agency via AFP/Getty Images
People place flower bouquets before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il on Mansu Hill.
People place flower bouquets before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il on Mansu Hill.  Korean Central News Agency via AFP/Getty Images
Women sweep around the statues of the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sun, left, and Jong Il on the eve of the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il on Dec. 16 in Pyongyang.
Women sweep around the statues of the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sun, left, and Jong Il on the eve of the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il on Dec. 16 in Pyongyang.  David Guttenfelder, AP
North Koreans lay flowers at the base of statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Mansu Hill in Pyongyang.
North Koreans lay flowers at the base of statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Mansu Hill in Pyongyang.  David Guttenfelder, AP
North Korean soldiers gather at Kumsusan memorial palace as they stage a rally supporting their leader, Kim Jong Un, in Pyongyang.
North Korean soldiers gather at Kumsusan memorial palace as they stage a rally supporting their leader, Kim Jong Un, in Pyongyang.  Korean Central News Agency via AFP/Getty Images
Soldiers march during a rally at the Kumsusan memorial palace.
Soldiers march during a rally at the Kumsusan memorial palace.  Korean Central News Agency via AFP/Getty Images
Jang Song-thaek is escorted in court on Dec. 12. The uncle of leader Kim Jong Un was executed after a shocking purge, with the state branding the once-powerful man a "traitor."
Jang Song-thaek is escorted in court on Dec. 12. The uncle of leader Kim Jong Un was executed after a shocking purge, with the state branding the once-powerful man a "traitor."  Yonhap via AFP/Getty Images
A man watches a television news program showing the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Jang Son Thaek, at his trial at a railway station in Seoul.
A man watches a television news program showing the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Jang Son Thaek, at his trial at a railway station in Seoul.  Ahn Young-joon, AP
Military vehicles parade during a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice on July 27 in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Military vehicles parade during a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice on July 27 in Pyongyang, North Korea.  AP
A North Korean soldier salutes from a tank during a military parade at Kim Il-Sung Square.
A North Korean soldier salutes from a tank during a military parade at Kim Il-Sung Square.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
Veterans of the Korean War wave to their leader, Kim Jong Un, during a military parade.
Veterans of the Korean War wave to their leader, Kim Jong Un, during a military parade.  David Guttenfelder, AP
People wave flags as walk with statues of former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.
People wave flags as walk with statues of former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
People carry the North Korean national flags.
People carry the North Korean national flags.  Wong Maye-E, AP
North Korean tanks parade through Kim Il-Sung Square.
North Korean tanks parade through Kim Il-Sung Square.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
Ugandan Vice-President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekand, left, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greet spectators.
Ugandan Vice-President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekand, left, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greet spectators.  Wong Maye-E, AP
North Korean air force troops march in the parade.
North Korean air force troops march in the parade.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
A North Korean soldier salutes from his tank.
A North Korean soldier salutes from his tank.  Wong Maye-E, AP
Soldiers march through Kim Il Sung Square.
Soldiers march through Kim Il Sung Square.  Wong Maye-E, AP
A unit of women soldiers march in formation.
A unit of women soldiers march in formation.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
People wave flowers during the parade.
People wave flowers during the parade.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
People carry a portrait of former leader Kim Jong-Il.
People carry a portrait of former leader Kim Jong-Il.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
Dancers parade through Kim Il Sung Sqaure.
Dancers parade through Kim Il Sung Sqaure.  Wong Maye-E, AP
Thousands of people hold up colored squares as they create a giant North Korean flag as they celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice during a performance at the Rungnado May Day Stadium on July 26 in Pyongyang.
Thousands of people hold up colored squares as they create a giant North Korean flag as they celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice during a performance at the Rungnado May Day Stadium on July 26 in Pyongyang.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
People hold colored material as they watch for their cue during a performance. One hundred thousand people created a synchronized socialist-realist performance in a 90 minute display of gymnastics, dance and acrobatics.
People hold colored material as they watch for their cue during a performance. One hundred thousand people created a synchronized socialist-realist performance in a 90 minute display of gymnastics, dance and acrobatics.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
Dancers perform in Pyongyang.
Dancers perform in Pyongyang.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images
Performers present a program on the field of the Rungnado May Day Stadium.
Performers present a program on the field of the Rungnado May Day Stadium.  Ed Jones, AFP/Getty Images

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The test coincides with the 68th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as North Korea is known officially. In the past, the reclusive nation has marked major anniversaries with weapons tests or other provocative actions.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported the test is believed to have taken place in the same location where North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January.

Pyongyang also conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

While North Korea’s nuclear tests are “unwanted,” they are no longer destabilizing, said Robert E. Kelly, professor of political science at South Korea’s Pusan National University. “We've known for awhile that North Korea has functional nuclear weapons," he said.

"The real issues are can they improve these weapons from basic atomic bombs to hydrogen weapons? And can they marry them to a missile so that they can deliver them? The answer on both counts right now is probably 'No,' ” Kelly said in email exchange Friday.

About 28,000 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea, which technically remains at war with its neighbor to the north.

In January, North Korea conducted what it said was a test of a much more powerful hydrogen bomb, although the U.S. government disputed that claim. Since then the North has conducted several tests of medium- and long-range missiles as part of its push for a nuclear-armed missile that could one day reach the U.S. mainland.

Earlier this week, North Korea fired three ballistic missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan in an apparent signal of its displeasure with Group of 20 summit talks being held in Hangzhou, China.

Contributing: Oren Dorell in Washington, D.C.


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