US President Barack Obama speaks to the media at the Pentagon on August 4, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. (AFP photo)
US President Barack Obama has condemned North Korea for its latest nuclear test, promising to impose a new round of sanctions on Pyongyang.
On Friday, Obama censured the North Korean move as "a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability," adding that he will push for new sanctions in retaliation to Pyongyang’s fifth and most powerful nuclear test.
Obama made the remarks in a written statement which was released by the White House on Friday.
"We agreed to work with the UN Security Council, our other partners, and the international community to vigorously implement existing measures imposed in previous resolutions, and to take additional significant steps, including new sanctions," Obama said in the statement.
"To be clear, the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state," Obama said.
Obama noted that he would work "to take additional significant steps, including new sanctions, to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions."
The president also spoke by phone about the test with his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following the test.
Residents look up at a big screen TV in front of Pyongyang railway station showing a television presenter officially announcing that the country successfully tested a nuclear warhead earlier in the day on September 9, 2016. (AFP photo)
North Korea confirmed on Friday that it had conducted a successful "nuclear warhead explosion" test, saying it was meant to counter US hostility.
The confirmation came after South Korean authorities said they believed North Korea had conducted a nuclear test following the detection of an “artificial earthquake.”
In January, North Korea said it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, its fourth nuclear test, and vowed to build up its nuclear program as a deterrence against potential aggression from the US and its regional allies.
North Korea says it will not give up on its nuclear military program unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and dissolves the US-led command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.
Pyongyang has regularly condemned the annual joint military drills held in the Korean Peninsula by the South and the US as well as their plan to deploy the THAAD missile system in the region. 
China and Russia have also voiced opposition to the deployment, saying the system would threaten security, stability and peace on the Korean Peninsula and cannot help denuclearize the volatile region.

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