North Korea has confirmed that it has detonated a second nuclear device, claiming to have raised its explosive power to a new level. Earlier this month, the authorities in Pyongyang said they were pulling out of regional nuclear disarmament talks, and would restart a plant that processes weapons-grade plutonium at the Soviet-era Yongbyon nuclear plant.
North Korea’s first nuclear test was in October 2006. A statement from the official news agency said this latest underground explosion was part of the republic’s measures to strengthen its nuclear deterrent. The government was furious that the UN had punished North Korea for firing a long-range rocket in April, seen by many in the West as a disguised missile test.