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North Korea defends nuclear test, threatens escalation

Hours after announcing its third successful nuclear test, North Korea threatens escalation. A Foreign Ministry statement broadcast on state TV said further U.S. hostility would complicate the situation and lead to stronger responses from the North. Tuesday's test has prompted angry reactions from the region and calls for harsher international penalties on the already heavily-sanctioned country. An Austria-based nuclear test monitoring agency confirmed seismic activity of magnitude 4.9. The executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation said the location of the latest blast was consistent with North Korea's 2006 and 2009 tests. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY ORGANISATION (CTBTO), TIBOR TOTH, SAYING: "This DPRK announced nuclear explosion is going in the wrong direction, this is a wrong step in the wrong direction and this is a challenge to this norm observed by the international community of not carrying out nuclear weapon explosions." The agency says the seismic activity indicates Tuesday's test was twice as big as the 2009 blast but that it will take days for it to be officially verified.

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