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Russia confirms DPRK nuclear test
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Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted an underground nuclear test on Monday, news agencies reported.

A senior diplomat from DPRK's embassy in Russia said that if the United States keeps on intimidating Pyongyang, his country would not exclude the possibilities to conduct further nuclear tests, according to Itar-Tass news agency

"Yes, indeed, our national facilities fixed the fact of a nuclear test in North Korea. Now we are analyzing data on the test. The power of the nuclear explosion is being specified," the Itar-Tass reported citing a ministry source.

The source also said that the blast had a force of around 20 kilotons, according to Itar-Tass.

"A second nuclear underground test was conducted in DPRK this morning. According to Russian technical means of control over nuclear explosions, the power of the nuclear explosive device was about 20 kiloton," said the high-ranking source.

The test was made "at the same proving ground in the northeast of DPRK, where the first nuclear underground test was conducted in 2006," said the source.

While the Interfax news agency and the RIA Novosti news agency both put it at 10-20 kilotons.

"The special control service of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation registered an underground nuclear explosion equivalent to 10-20 kilotons in the territory of the DPRK at 04:54:41 a.m. (Moscow time) (0054 GMT) on May 25," the Interfax quoted Alexander Drobyshevsky, acting spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that the United Nations Security Council would hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the reported nuclear test staged by the DPRK.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted by the Interfax as saying that Russia is concerned over the nuclear test, and will double-check reports on the nuclear test before drawing any conclusions.

"Naturally we are concerned about reports that DPRK has blasted a nuclear device," Lavrov said in Beirut.

Lavrov also confirmed that Japan had suggested convening a UN Security Council meeting on Monday, to discuss the issue.

"I believe that it will take place and by that time the delegations will have information that will help better understand what happened," he said.

The ministry also called on all nations involved in this difficult situation to "remain discrete and restrained," according to Itar-Tass.

Previous reports citing an official of the ministry said Moscow urged DPRK to "urgently revert to the regime of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to resume the six-nation negotiations."

Earlier on Monday, the DPRK said it had successfully conducted an underground nuclear test.

South Korean officials said earlier an "artificial earthquake" was detected near the northeastern town of Kilju, about 10 km away from the site where the DPRK staged its first nuclear test in October 2006.

(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2009)

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