UPDATE: 5:51 a.m. EST — Russia’s foreign ministry condemned North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test Wednesday. “Such actions are fraught with further aggravation of the situation on the Korean peninsula, which is anyway marked by very high potential of military and political confrontation,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reportedly said.
UPDATE: 4:53 a.m. EST -- The European Union condemned North Korea’s testing of a hydrogen bomb, calling it a “grave violation” of United Nations resolutions, the Guardian reported.
“If confirmed, this action would represent a grave violation of the DPRK’s international obligations not to produce or test nuclear weapons, as determined by several United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and a threat to the peace and security of the entire North East Asia region,” Federica Mogherini, EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, reportedly said, in a statement.
“I call on the DPRK to re-engage in a credible and meaningful dialogue with the international community, in particular in the framework of the Six-Party Talks, and to cease this illegal and dangerous behavior. I will speak this morning with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea Yun Byung-se and the Foreign Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida to discuss the way forward,” she said, adding: “We will work with the UN Security Council, which will meet later today in urgent session to address this issue.”
Human Rights Watch also released a statement condemning the nuclear test.
“Kim Jong-un may think it appropriate to celebrate his birthday early with a nuclear test, but even a hydrogen bomb should not cause the world to forget that the Kim family’s hereditary dictatorship is built on the systematic brutalization and abuse of the North Korean people,” Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson said pointing that the testy comes close to Kim Jong un’s birthday Friday, according to the Guardian.
“The only birthday present that Kim Jong-Un should get from the international community is a one way trip to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where he should be put on trial for crimes against humanity.”
North Korea claimed Wednesday it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. The hydrogen bomb test, if confirmed by outside experts, would be a first after three atomic bomb tests for the reclusive, authoritarian state.
Reactions flooded in after reports surfaced about North Korea’s nuclear test came soon after the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 5.1-magnitude earthquake about 30 miles north of Kilju, in the country's northeast where North Korea's main nuclear test site is located. The size of Wednesday's “artificial earthquake” was reportedly bigger than seismic activity reported in previous atomic bomb tests. Yonhap news agency reported that quake monitoring agencies detected magnitudes of seismic activity of 3.7 in 2006; 4.5 in 2009 and 4.9 in 2013.
France condemned the nuclear test and called for a “strong reaction from the international community," President François Hollande’s office said in a statement, adding that claims of a hydrogen bomb detonation were “an unacceptable violation of [UN] security council resolutions."
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye called the test a “grave provocation” at an emergency meeting of the country’s national security council.
“The test is not only a grave provocation to our national security but also a threat to our future … and a strong challenge to international peace and stability,” Park reportedly said, calling for strong sanctions against Pyongyang.
South Korea, which has expressed skepticism over its rival’s claims of a hydrogen test, said it would increase its monitoring of Pyongyang’s activities.
South Korea reportedly said that it would consult with allies and regional powers to get North Korea to face consequences of the nuclear test it says it has carried out. Presidential security official Cho Tae-yong said “we strongly condemn” North Korea’s fourth bomb test.
Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop also issued a statement Wednesday.
“Australia condemns in the strongest possible terms the provocative and dangerous behavior of the North Korean regime,” Bishop reportedly said. “Today’s nuclear test confirms North Korea’s status as a rogue state and a continuing threat to international peace and security.”
Bishop also added that Australia would express concerns directly to the North Korean government and would work to strengthen sanctions against the country that would reduce funding to its weapons of mass destruction programs.
China's official Xinhua news service reacted to North Korea's nuclear test, saying that the “test apparently runs counter to relevant UN resolutions” and “is set to cause repercussions."
U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond wrote on his Twitter account: “If North Korean H-bomb test reports are true, it is a grave breach of UN [security council] resolutions and a provocation which I condemn without reservation.”
Hammond, who is currently in China, reportedly spoke to a small group of foreign correspondents, giving his reaction over North Korea's latest move.
"We are anticipating that there will be an emergency session of the UN security council in New York later today, when both countries [U.K. and China] will condemn — along with, I expect, everybody else in the world except perhaps for one or two mavericks — any nuclear test carried out by the DPRK," Hammond reportedly said. "I think I can say that Britain and China are pretty much completely aligned on North Korean nuclear. We both strongly oppose the acquisition or testing of nuclear weapons by North Korea and we both want to see a resumption of the six-party talks.
"So far as I think any of us can tell, there is no reason to doubt what the North Koreans are claiming: that they have carried out a test detonation of an H-bomb. It is clearly very bad news for the non-proliferation agenda generally and for security in the East China Sea region specifically," he added, according to the Guardian.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the nuclear test saying that his country "absolutely cannot tolerate" a North Korean nuclear test. Abe reportedly called the test a threat to its security, adding that Japan will give a firm response to North Korea's move.
The U.S. did not confirm the hydrogen bomb test, but vowed to “respond appropriately to any and all North Korean provocations.”
“While we cannot confirm these claims at this time, we condemn any violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions and again call on North Korea to abide by its international obligations & commitments,” White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said, in a statement.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida condemned the test by calling North Korean leader Kim Jong un a “lunatic.”
“I have been warning throughout this campaign that North Korea is run by a lunatic who has been expanding his nuclear arsenal while President Obama has stood idly by. If this test is confirmed, it will be just the latest example of the failed Obama-Clinton foreign policy,” Rubio said, in a statement.
“Our enemies around the world are taking advantage of Obama’s weakness. We need new leadership that will stand up to people like Kim Jong Un and ensure our country has the capabilities necessary to keep America safe.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) also released a statement over the nuclear test. “This is the latest and most brazen in a long line of provocations from the tyrannical Kim regime. Such behavior is wholly unacceptable. In the near term, the U.S. must lead with a firm response, including an enhancement of sanctions that targets the financial resources of the regime that fund its misrule and nuclear proliferation,” Cotton said.
“We must recognize the parallels between North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and Iran’s. The path to what is now the fourth North Korean nuclear test began two decades ago with a weak and unverifiable deal negotiated by a naive U.S. president. We now must take up the hard work of pressuring and deterring a maniacal nuclear-capable regime.”
— Martyn Williams (@martyn_williams) January 6, 2016