North Korea's nuclear weapon test was confirmed by seismic measurements, Prime Minister John Howard said on Monday.
"I am advised that there is seismic confirmation that North Korea conducted a nuclear test earlier on Monday," Howard told Parliament, without elaborating on whose seismic data confirmed the test.
North Korea said through the country's official Korean Central News Agency on Monday it performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test. An official at South Korea's seismic monitoring center confirmed that a magnitude 3.6 tremor felt at the time of alleged North Korea nuclear test wasn't a natural occurrence. The official said on condition his name not be used, because he wasn't authorized to talk about the sensitive information to the media.
Howard said his government would call on the United Nations Security Council to take "swift and effective action" against North Korea including financial, trade and travel sanctions. "This issue represents a great challenge to the United Nations," Howard told Parliament. "If the United Nations is to come up to scratch on this issue, it will win great respect and an enhanced reputation.
"But if the United Nations fails to act effectively against this outrage from North Korea, it will represent a further diminution of its authority," he said.
Howard said his government would consider convening an emergency meeting of regional foreign ministers to coordinate a diplomatic response.
"North Korea is very gravely mistaken if she thinks that a nuclear test will improve that country's bargaining position," he said. "The test has destabilized the region, it's eroded North Korea's own security. A strong international response is called for, and Australia will give full support to that response."