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Televisions in the South Korean capital Seoul show images of the North Korean test
France has called for a strong international reaction to North Korea's announcement that it has carried out a a "successful" hydrogen bomb test, dubbing the move an "unacceptable violation" of United Nations resolutions. While experts expressed doubt as to whether Pyongyang has developed a hydrogen bomb, a chorus of condemnation greeted Wednesday's announcement.
"While awaiting confirmation of the characteristics of the nuclear test announced and observed last night in North Korea, France condemns this unacceptable violation of [UN] Security Council resolutions and calls for a strong reaction from the international community," the French presidency said in a statement on Wednesday.
An emergency meeting of the Security Council was called in response to the announcement.
South Korea and Japan, which started a two-year stint on the Security Council on 1 January, were among the first countries to condemn the announcement and China, which usually discourages sanctions against Pyongyang, declared that it "firmly opposes" the test, which, it said, was carried out "irrespective of the international community's opposition".
North Korea has tested nuclear weapons on three previous occasions, in 2006, 2009 and 2013, leading to new sanctions, mainly on financial transactions and maritime traffic, each time.