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North Korea Claims Successful Nuke Test

North Korea claimed Monday it had "successfully" conducted a nuclear test, its second since October 2006, to "bolster its nuclear deterrent for self-defense."

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported the testing comes in the wake of the Communist country's warning last month about its nuclear plans in protest of the U.N. Security Council's condemnation of its April 5 long-range rocket launch.

"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of measures to bolster its nuclear deterrent for self-defense," the North's official Korean Central News Agency was quoted as saying.

Yonhap said although the location of the testing was not mentioned, South Korea's meteorological administration had detected an artificial 4.5-magnitude earthquake at 9:54 a.m., which compared with the 3.6-magnitude of the previous test.

The report said the second testing appeared to have occurred about 9 miles from the site of the first test in Kilju in the country's northeast region.

KCNA said the test was of a higher level "in terms of its explosive power and technology of its control."

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak summoned an emergency meeting of security ministers, Yonhap said, adding the Defense Ministry had launched a "crisis management" team of general-level officers.

CNN reported the U.S. Geological Survey reported a 4.7-magnitude seismic disturbance at the site of North Korea's first nuclear test about one hour before the North Korean agency reported the testing.

The testing comes at a time when the six-nation talks on the North's nuclear disarmament remains stalled.

China's Xinhua news agency reported the South Korean financial market fell sharply late Monday after reports of the north's nuclear test.

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