Appearing on Al Jazeera, Carnegie's James Acton discussed the diplomatic response and key elements of the latest North Korean nuclear test. Acton pointed out that the diplomatic response to what seems like North Korea's third nuclear test will see a good deal of condemnation. "How this will be interpreted by the international community is going to depend quite heavily on how big the yield of this test was," said Acton. "There's a lot of uncertainty at the moment, but if it's really one kilometer, which is actually pretty deep for a nuclear test, this test could be substantially larger than the previous two," Acton added.
Acton argued that the United States and South Korea will not want to escalate the military response at the initial stages of their reactions, but will instead work with the United Nations and China to condemn the test. "They key issue about this nuclear test will be - if radioactive particles are detected in the air - to see if it's a uranium test or a plutonium test," Acton concluded.