North Koreans walk past near a huge screen broadcasting the government's announcement on North Korea's fifth nuclear test in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo September 9, 2016. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

(From Reuters)

North Korea conducted its fifth and biggest nuclear test on Friday and said it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile, ratcheting up a threat that rivals and the United Nations have been powerless to contain.

North Koreans walk past near a huge screen broadcasting the government’s announcement on North Korea’s fifth nuclear test in Pyongyang in this photo released by Kyodo September 9, 2016. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

The blast, on the 68th anniversary of North Korea’s founding, drew a fresh wave of global condemnation. The United States said it would work with partners to impose new sanctions, and called on China to use its influence as North Korea’s main ally to pressure Pyongyang to end its nuclear program.

Under 32-year-old third-generation leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea has sped up development of its nuclear and missile programs, despite U.N. sanctions that were tightened in March and have further isolated the impoverished country.

 The United Nations Security Council was set to discuss the latest test and whether the 15-member body should punish North Korea with more sanctions at a meeting on Friday, diplomats said. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged the 15-member group to remain united and take action that would “urgently break this accelerating spiral of escalation.” Read More

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