At 10 AM Local time (6PM ET in the US) North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test at the Punggye-ri, underground test site in the east of the hermit state. The blasted registered 5.1 on the Richter scale recorded by seismographic agencies in China, South Korea, Japan and the US Geological Service, effectively a mini-earthquake. The North Korea news agency declared that it was the test of a miniaturized hydrogen bomb, which met with both skepticism, yet concerns from China, Russia, US, UK and especially the UN. According to a Guardian report:
Pyongyang said the test and was “self-defense against the US having numerous and humongous nuclear weapons”. In a TV announcement it also said the test went “perfectly”. But what does this mean within the context of the deteriorating global balance of power?