Seoul: On Friday, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye condemned North Korea's latest nuclear test as an act of "self-destruction" that will further deepen its isolation in the international community.
The impoverished but nuclear-armed North staged its fifth nuclear test this morning, she said in a statement, describing it as a "grave challenge" to the international community.
"With the nuclear test, Kim Jong-Un's regime will only earn more sanctions and isolation... and such provocation will further accelerate its path to self-destruction," she said, referring to the North's young ruler.
The latest nuclear test — described as the North's most powerful to date by Seoul's military — proves Kim's "manic recklessness" and his obsession with building a nuclear arsenal despite global criticism, she added.
In Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday called North Korea's latest nuclear test "absolutely unacceptable".
"North Korea's carrying out of a nuclear test is absolutely unacceptable for Japan," Abe said in a statement, after Pyongyang conducted its fifth nuclear test, believed to be its most powerful to date.
"North Korea's nuclear development is becoming a graver threat to Japan's safety and severely undermines the peace and safety of the region and the international community," Abe said.
"Japan lodges a serious protest against North Korea and condemns it in the strongest language," he added.