US President Barack Obama said on Friday any provocative actions by North Korea would have “serious consequences” after the reclusive North confirmed it had conducted its fifth nuclear test.
Obama had been briefed on board Air Force One by National Security Adviser Susan Rice about reported seismic activity near North Korea’s nuclear test site earlier on Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Obama reiterated the unbreakable US commitment to the security of its allies in Asia and around the world, Earnest said.
North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test on Friday, setting off a blast that was more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and said it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile.
North Korea’s nuclear test coincided with the anniversary of its 1948 foundation as a republic. Its continued testing despite sanctions presents a severe challenge to Obama in the final months of his presidency and could become a factor in the US presidential election in November.