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As the United Nations Security Council organised an emergency meeting to address North Korea’s nuclear test, the defiant state said it would not abide by UN restrictions anyway.

The February 12 test was North Korea’s third and largest to date. The United States and other world powers swiftly condemned it.

Even China, the isolated country’s only major ally, was critical this time. The Foreign Ministry said China is “extremely concerned”.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague stressed the importance of Beijing’s role: “There is additional pressure that can be placed on North Korea, additional sanctions that can be put in place. Of course these have the most effect if they have the strong support of China, a key nation in this regard and a permanent member of the Security Council.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “The North Korean authorities have ignored international law again, ignored UN Security Council decisions. Undoubtedly, it deserves both condemnation and an adequate reaction.”

Pyongyang is threatening more tests, and said its actions are the result of what it called “reckless hostility” from the United States.

Despite the fiery rhetoric, North Korea is not believed to be capable of launching a strike on the US though South Korea and Japan are in range of its missiles.

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