DONALD Trump has refused to rule out an attack on North Korea as Kim Jong-un warned the US "would not escape from the greatest disaster" after the rogue nation detonated its sixth nuclear bomb.

The test triggered an 6.3-magnitude artificial quake  – ten times larger than any of North Korea's previous attempts.

 Kim Jong-un has warned the US "would not escape from the greatest disaster" after the rogue nation detonated its sixth nuclear bomb
 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un 'provides guidance' on a nuclear weapons programme

 The inspection was carried out alongside Kim's key advisers
 Donald Trump said the words and actions of North Korea were 'hostile and dangerous' to the US

The test was seen as a direct challenge to Trump, who has vowed to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons that could threaten the United States.

State media has now issued a "severe warning" to America.

The Korean Central News Agency said: "If the US imperialists awkwardly provoke the DPRK, they would not be able to escape from the greatest disaster."

When questioned if he would attack North Korea, Trump said: "We'll see".

The president also tweeted to say that the US was considering cutting economic ties with any countries that do business with North Korea.

While the US has virtually no trade with the North, the burden of sanctions as described by Trump would fall heavily on China, which buys about 90 per cent of North Korean exports.

Hours after the test, US President took to Twitter, writing: "North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.

"North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success."

He then added: "South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!"

North Korea this morning confirmed on state media they had conducted a hydrogen bomb test, saying it was a "perfect success", and adding the H-bomb can be loaded onto an intercontinental missile.

World leaders have been quick to condemn North Korea's test, calling on the United Nations Security Council to react to the violation.

 North Korea confirmed on state TV they had successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test
 Japan Meteorological Agency's earthquake and tsunami observations division director Toshiyuki Matsumori speaks next to a monitor showing graphs of ground motion waveform data observed in Japan
 The test launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile in Pyongyang, North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-In has called for the "strongest punishment" against North Korea.

Presidential security adviser Chung Eui-Yong said after an emergency National Security Council meeting that Moon had called for "all diplomatic measures including UNSC sanctions resolutions to completely isolate North Korea".

French President Emmanuel Macron urged the United Nations Security Council to react quickly and decisively.

He said: "The international community must treat this new provocation with the utmost firmness, in order to bring North Korea to come back unconditionally to the path of dialogue and to proceed to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear and ballistic programme."

China, the only North Korean ally that is a permanent member of the Security Council, urged its neighbour to stop "wrong" actions that worsen the situation.

It said it would fully enforce UN resolutions on the country.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said called the test "reckless", saying: "It's our view in the UK overwhelmingly that peaceful diplomatic solutions are best. We really don't see an easy military solution – the distance between North Korea and Seoul is very small.

"Much more productive is to continue the international diplomatic effort.

"What the Chinese always say is there's a kind of equivalence between the South Korean/US exercises and nuclear exercises carried out by North Korea. We don't accept that.

"Our message to the Chinese is that we think there's more scope for you to put economic pressure on the North Koreans."

The Russian foreign ministry called for calm, saying: "In the emerging conditions it is absolutely essential to keep cool, refrain from any actions that could lead to a further escalation of tensions."

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also condemned the "flagrant defiance" of the United Nations Security Council resolution, saying: "North Korea's reckless conduct poses a grave danger to global peace and security."

The Korea Meteorological Administration initially reported "an artificial tremor" at 12:36 p.m local time in the North Hamgyeong Province, from a site used for nuclear testing by the North Korean regime.

The US Geological Survey and Chinese authorities both confirmed the tremor, with South Korea's weather agency later revising the artificial quake to 5.7-magnitude.

North Korea's previous nuclear tests caused tremors just over 5 on the Richter scale – one tenth the magnitude of the current test – suggesting the device being tested this time was significantly more powerful.

Hours before the tremor Kim Jong-un was pictured inspecting nuclear weapons, and North Korea released a statement saying he had seen a new "thermonuclear" warhead being loaded onto an ICBM.

The country bragged the new weapons had "great destructive power" and have a yield that is adjustable from "tens to hundreds of kilotons" and can be detonated at high altitudes.

That would put it in the same bracket as missiles currently in use by the UK and US, though significantly less than US missiles had at their peak before weapons-reduction treaties with Russia dramatically reduced payloads.

What's the difference between a hydrogen bomb and an atomic bomb?

Atomic bombs

These weapons get their energy from a nuclear fission reaction.

The bomb works by splitting the atoms into smaller ones.

This action creates the huge release of energy.

They generally using plutonium and uraniam.

These bombs were used in the World War II attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Hydrogen bombs

Also known as h-bombs, these weapons derive their energy from nuclear fusion reactions.

The bomb creates a reaction between isotypes.

They are about 1000 times more powerful than atomic bombs.

Kim's regime has also boasted that it can build as many nuclear weapons as it wants.

North Korea sharply increased regional tension this week with the launch of its Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe said that if the country had indeed tested a nuclear device this would be "absolutely unacceptable".

The country lodged an official protest through North Korea's embassy in Beijing.

The state was reported to have been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States and has recently threatened to land missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam.

 A man walks past a TV news on screen reporting North Korea's a possible nuclear test
 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a photo session with attendants in the fourth Active Secretaries of Primary Organization of KPA Youth

The August provocation followed test launches of two long-range ballistic missiles in July that suggested  a range of 10,000km or more – which would put many parts of the US mainland within striking distance of the tubby tyrant.

Earlier this week North Korean soldiers were being urged to steal food in preparation for an all-out war with the might of the US.

Military officers are turning a “blind eye” to the looting, and are even said to be encouraging it as a means of keeping up their strength because of meagre army rations.

“The military officers are instructing their soldiers, exhausted after training, to eat corn in the fields because war is imminent," a source told news outlet Daily NK.

SHOW OF FORCE: North Korea has conducted its most powerful nuclear test – so when did they last fire off the weapons?

The quake magnitudes following North Korea's nuclear tests have increasing in power for the past 10 decades.

September 2016: quake magnitude 5.3

January 2016: quake magnitude 5.1

February 2013: quake magnitude 5.1

May 2009: quake magnitude 4.7

October 2006: quake magnitude 4.3

 Kim's troops have been told to ready themselves for war
 Special operation forces of the Korean People's Army in training

“They are even threatening their soldiers, saying ‘If you become malnourished despite permission to eat the corn, you will face difficulties.’”

Another source from Ryanggang Province, claimed: “Soldiers carrying big sacks of unripened corn can be frequently seen at the markets. They see the corn at cheap prices to merchants who have made deals in advance.”

The order is said to have come direct from the "Glorious Leader" – who is said to thrive on a diet of fine wines and continental cheeses.

In response, fed-up farmers have set up guard posts in an attempt to protect their crops.

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