For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: North Korea's nukes.
North Korea claimed it carried out a powerful underground nuclear test Monday - much larger than one conducted in 2006 - in a major provocation in the escalating international standoff over its rogue nuclear and missile programs. Pyongyang announced the test, and Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed an atomic explosion at 9:54 a.m. (0054 GMT) in northeastern North Korea, estimating the blast's yield at 10 to 20 kilotons - comparable to the bombs that flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The regime also test-fired three short-range, ground-to-air missiles later Monday from the same northeastern site where it launched a rocket last month, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed sources. The rocket liftoff, widely believed to be a cover for a test of its long-range missile technology, drew censure from the U.N. Security Council.