SEOUL — North Korea said on Monday it had safely and successfully carried out an underground nuclear test, flying in the face of a warning from the U.N. Security Council. South Korea’s military ordered army units to step up their state of alert after the announcement by the reclusive communist state, which came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Seoul. The U.S. Geological Survey said it had detected a 4.2 magnitude quake in North Korea at 10:35 local time (0135 GMT) on Monday, confirming a similar report from South Korea. U.S. defense officials were still saying they could not confirm a nuclear test, however. Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said there was no leak or danger from its test, which diplomats had predicted would be conducted in the north of the country near the border with China. ‘The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent,’ KCNA said. ‘It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the KPA (Korean People’s Army) and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defense capability.’ Analysts say North Korea probably has enough fissile material to make […]

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