North Korea has apparently followed through on it's threats and carried out a test of a nuclear weapon.
Apparently, the test was carried out at 11:36am AEST - the same time as South Korean monitors detected a 3.58 magnitude seismic disturbance.
There's very little information available at this stage. The North Koreans claim that there's been no radiation leakage as a result, but they did conduct the test on a Monday...and we all know how sloppy output can be on back-to-work Monday.
Aside from any environmental damage that may result, the political implication of this are staggering. As John Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said on Friday, “We think the main point is that North Korea should understand how strongly the United States and other council members feel that they should not test this nuclear device...And if they do test it, it will be a very different world a day after the test.”
Will the U.S. invade if they know a country actually has WMDs? Will there be a mass exit from the Korean peninsula? Would sanctions have any effect, or is it too late? Are you getting sick of rhetorical questions? I don't know, but we may have much to fear in the days ahead.