WASHINGTON - The White House is calling North Korea's latest nuclear test a "highly provocative act" that threatens U.S. security and international peace.
President Barack Obama is promising to "continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies" and urge "swift and credible action by the international community."
North Korea says it successfully detonated a miniaturized nuclear device at a northeastern test site Tuesday, defying U.N. Security Council orders to shut down atomic activity or face more sanctions and international isolation.
The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting this morning.
Meanwhile, NATO's governing body is also among those harshly criticizing North Korea's recent nuclear test, calling it "irresponsible" and a flagrant violation of U.N. Security council actions. International experts say it is an important step toward building a bomb small enough to be fitted on a missile that could reach United States.
"This irresponsible act, along with the December missile launch, poses a grave threat to international peace, security and stability," said a statement from the North Atlantic Council. "North Korea's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction represents continued defiance of the U.N. Security Council and the broader international community."
The statement called on North Korea to immediately cease such "provocative actions." The NATO alliance considers an attack on one of its 28 members as an attack on them all.
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