UK condemns Korean nuclear test

Britain today condemned a nuclear weapon test carried out in secretive North Korea, which Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned will undermine the prospects for peace in the region.

The underground explosion, in the north east of the country, was carried out earlier today and is reported to have been many times larger than a previous test in 2006.

In a statement issued by 10 Downing Street, Mr Brown said: "I condemn North Korea's nuclear test in the strongest terms as erroneous, misguided and a danger to the world.

"This act will undermine prospects for peace on the Korean peninsula and will do nothing for North Korea's security. The international community will treat North Korea as a partner if it behaves responsibly. If it does not, then it can expect only renewed isolation."

The move will significantly ratchet up international tension over the nuclear and missile ambitions of the Pyongyang regime, which was censured by the United Nations for a rocket launch on 5 April.