rockets, north korea.jpg
Photograph: EPA/RODONG SINMUN SOUTH KOREA OUT NO SALES

North Korea has carried out its fifth nuclear test since it began its quest for nuclear arms in 2006, causing fresh concerns for its neighbours.

A list follows of the most significant North Korean tests in the past decade, and the international response:

October 9, 2006: North Korea carries out its first atomic test.

October 14, 2006: The UN Security Council unanimously imposes commercial sanctions and bans North Korea from importing ballistic missile technology in response to its nuclear test.

April 5, 2009: North Korea launches a Unha-2 rocket and says it placed a satellite into orbit, but outside experts say no satellite can be detected.

May 25, 2009: North Korea conducts its second atomic test.

June 12, 2009: The UN Security Council unanimously adopts stricter sanctions, including the interception of North Korean ships.

April 13, 2012: North Korea launches a long-range Unha-3 rocket, which explodes minutes after takeoff.

December 12, 2012: North Korea says a launch of another Unha-3 rocket was successful and it placed a satellite into orbit.

January 22, 2013: The UN Security Council condemns the latest launch and extends asset freezes and travel bans to several North Korean organizations and individuals.

February 12, 2013: North Korea appears to carry out its third atomic test, according to seismic data. Pyongyang claims it used a miniaturized nuclear device, but no radiation was detected.

March 7, 2013: New UN sanctions target "illicit activities of diplomatic personnel, transfers of bulk cash, and the country's banking relationships."

September 15, 2015: North Korea says it has restarted operations of the nuclear reactor at its Yongbyon facility after making "innovations" at the complex.

January 6, 2016: North Korea claims it has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, its fourth test of an atomic device, but Western experts doubt it had the power of a hydrogen nuclear explosion.

February 7, 2016: North Korea launches a long-range rocket and puts Earth observation satellite Kwangmyongsong-4 into orbit, although US reports said it was not operating correctly. The rocket launch is seen as a test of nuclear-capable weaponry.

March 2, 2016: UN imposes toughest sanctions yet on Pyongyang, including a complete ban on the sale of all conventional weapons and inspections of all North Korean cargo. In response to the sanctions and to US-South Korea joint military exercises, Pyongyang threatens nuclear war and fires a series of ballistic missiles.

March 24, 2016: The regime says it has successfully tested a solid-fuel rocket engine, which observers say could make missile launches easier and more frequent.

April 5, 2016: China, historically Pyongyang's only significant international ally, restricts its trade with North Korea.

April 9, 2016: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announces that recent tests of an improved jet engine were successful, improving the range of Pyongyang's intercontinental ballistic missile nuclear deterrent.

May 31, 2016: North Korea again attempts to fire a Musudan missile, the latest in a series of unsuccessful launches since April.

June 23, 2016: North Korea claims to have launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile in what it calls a "simulated strike on South Korea."

September 5, 2016: North Korea test fires three ballistic missiles to coincide with a G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China.

September 6, 2016: The UN Security Council "strongly condemns" the North Korean missile launch.

September 9: Japan confirms that North Korea has carried out a fifth nuclear test and says it will "lodge a strong protest."

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