welcome to nhk world "newsline." north korean authorities have defined united nations resolutions. state-run media say they successfully carried out another underground nuclear test. korean central television report scientists used a smaller warhead than in previous tests but produced a more powerful explosion. >> translator: on february 12, 2013, our defense and science officials successfully conducted our third nuclear test at an underground experiment site.
>> seismologists in several countries defected a tremor emanating from north korea. experts from japan's meteorological agency say the tremor measured 5.2 in magnitude and was not natural. it happened just before noon local time close to poongkye-ri. military leaders issued a statement last month, threatening to target what they called a sworn enemy of the korean people, the united states. u.s. representatives led the drive at the u.n. to expand sanctions. security council passed a resolution last month, coming -- or condemning the north koreans for launching a rocket in december. >> translator: the nuclear test was carried out as part of our efforts to protect our security and independence. it is aimed at responding to the ferocious and hostile act of the u.s. to block our right tosatel
>> south korean defense officials estimate the explosion measured 6 to 8 kilotons, but they note it was below 10 kilotons when suggest scientists did not achieve full-scale nuclear detonation. experts in seoul say they are preparing for another missile launch. pyongyang celebrates. citizens watched a large screen in public square of the north korean capital. they cheered when the state broadcasts the test a success. >> translator: i am so happy to hear that the nuclear test was successf successful. our country has shown its strong will. it gives us courage. a spokesperson for the south
korean defense ministry says north korean authorities issued a warning. he says they notified the u.s. and chinese governments on monday that they would go forward with the test. officials in china's foreign ministry issued a statement strongly protesting the test. they criticize their allies and pyongyang for ignoring repeated calls to abandon their plans. nhk world reports from beijing. >> reporter: chinese leaders have made it clear that they oppose the test. communist leader says he wants the key reyan peninsula to be stable. north korea may be a traditional ally but chinese leaders say the nuclear program as a threat to their national security. but they also oppose tougher sanctions. they believe joining the u.s., japan and other countries in pushing for more sanctions would further isolate the north.
at the same time, north korean leaders have not responded to china's call for an early resumption of the six-party talks on the north's nuclear program. the talks have been stalled for more than four years. chinese officials maintain that the talks are the only way to achieve a peaceful and nonnuclear korean peninsula. they may find themselves in a difficult position as international pressure is sure to mount on north korea. terui, nhk world, beijing. u.s. president ambassadbara condemned the test. he said it was a highly provocative act that undermines regional stability. obama said north korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program pose a threat to peace and security. he said the u.s. will continue to take steps to defend itself and its allies. obama called for what he called
swift and credible action, including new u.n. sanctions. prime minister shinzo abe says the test is a grave threat to japan and is unacceptable. abe says the test is a serious challenge to arms reduction and nuclear nonproliferation. he says they have tried to resolve difference with their counterparts in pyongyang without success. abe is urging north korea to take control over their nuclear and missile programs. a group of north korean represents interests the interests of pyongyang in tokyo. chief cabinet member said if five senior members visit home they will not be allowed to re-enter japan. they are also considering further sanctions. north korean leaders have heard similar criticisms before and they've ignored them. nhk world kangookamoto has more.
>> reporter: the work in mid-1980s they built north korea facilities. u.s. japan and others demanded full access to the sites. north korean officials refused. they insisted the program was for peaceful purposes not for obtaining plutonium. the confrontation escalated. >> plutonium they might have accumulated from the 1989 shutdown was not more than 6 kill lo kilograms or 7 kilograms of mru tone numb which is enough for one nuclear device. north korean claim they have much less than that, 70 grams. >> reporter: then in 1994 north korean authorities promised to give up on their nuclear ambitions in exchange for oil imports and help with nuclear plan construction. but foreign diplomats and international atomic energy inspectors became concerned in 2002 that the country was
enriching uranium. the north koreans reacted by expelling iaea inspectors and withdrawing from the npt. >> translator: north korea is leaving the npt because u.s. is trying to keep our country down. our withdrawal from the treaty will protect us from the iaea's unreasonable actions. >> reporter: the standoff led to the six-party talks aimed at persuading the north koreans to abandon their nuclear program. the negotiations started in 2003 with china acting as chair. >> translator: we've agreed to work ward denuclearization of the korean peninsula. the process toward a peaceful resolution has already begun. >> reporter: six-party talk members issued a joint statement in 2005. it included a north korean
pledge to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing programs in exchange for energy assistance. but they didn't follow through. scientists in the north carried out their first nuclear test about a year later. u.n. security council members repeatedly adapted resolutions and presidential statements with the country from carrying out these tests. less than three years later the north koreans did it again. >> translator: our experiment is from start to finish a countermeasure against the u.s. nuclear threat. >> reporter: late north korean leader kim jong-il promoted a so-called military first party. his son and successor kim jong ooun is following that path. >> translator: we have to
strengthen the north korean army to build up a strong and prosperous nation. move forward towards victory. >> reporter: kim's strong words gave agencies in south korea and other countries another reason to stay on high alert in anticipation of a third nuclear test. kengo, nhk world, tokyo. we also spoke with professor, a specialist on north korea at the university shizouka. >> north korea has some mixed reensz why they conducted this time the nuclear test. one is, of course, a domestic concern. the other is foreign concern. on domestic kim jong un, new leader needs more popular support to enhance his base so it means he may be -- maybe he
hopes to shore up his toughness or strong attitude toward the u.s., very hostile the policy, so therefore this is one of the reasons. the other is, of course, they hope to send some signal to the u.s. to restart some negotiatio negotiations. so i think it's quite intentionally north korea pick such a date -- i mean, just a day before barack obama's. quite sure barack obama were to include condemnation of north korean nuclear test to his speech, so it means quite hard for pyongyang to see there's some very strong repercussion from the u.s., but, in other words -- on the other hand, it's
another good opportunity for kim jong-un to shore up his toughness against the u.s. >> initially we asked why the north informed the u.s. and china of the test before. >> i think this friction over some kind of north korean, very cautious attitude because i think that they on the one hand, some -- they expected harsh criticism from u.s. and, japan and schin that. so if they informed them before the test it's much easier for north korea to conduct it. first of all, the u.s. should take harder, you know, attitude or the same sanctions, but i believe that the new sanctions
or resolution probably will be much more similar. so rather than substantive ones. because still china's attitude u.s. issues is quite different from ours -- i mean, u.s., south korea,en and japan. maybe a month or two month, maybe tension will continue, but after that maybe we can see different atmosphere. traders took the test in stride. our asia markets are now closed. tell us what happened. >> it was quite a muted reaction on asian markets, gene. a handful of asian markets were closed today. those that were open took cues from other factors. let's take a look. here's a snapshot of the region. stock prices here in tokyo remain strong, as you can see. other asian stocks trading
tended to be thin as chinese markets were closed due to the lunar new year holiday. the nikkei closed 1.9% higher on a weaker yen. south korea's kospi slipped 0.75%. indonesia's key index held benchmark interest rate at 5.75%. european shares, they are trading higher now. earlier investors were taking profits. london's ftse is trading higher by 0.4%. frankfurt's dax is up 0.25%. london is up 0.25%. and paris has gains of 0.5% at the moment. before i get into the currency levels, i want to give you this piece of news just in. the group of seven finance ministers and central bank governors has issued a statement reaffirming they are committed to market-determined exchange rates. they stressed that they will continue to consult closely on foreign exchange markets.
japan's finance minister oso made the statement available to reporters as the yen's rapid fall continues. now, in the statement, the g-7 members said they agreed excessive volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability. currency issues are expected to be high on the agenda at a g-20 meeting to be held in moscow starting friday. and now let's get a check on the latest currency levels following that statement. the dollar against the yen is little changed around the 94 yen level. news of north korea's nuclear test appears to have had a limited impact on currencies. the dollar against the yen is trading at 94.28 to 0.29. the euro is trading slidely higher against the yen. that pair is being quoted at
126.84 to 0.87. now, japan's prime minister is calling on top business leaders to raise wages. shinzo abe says that will help pull the country out of a prolonged period of deflation. abe made the requests in a meeting with the chairman of three major business groups on tuesday. >> translator: if the bright signs in japan's economy can be turned into higher incomes for workers, it would help this country to fully extricate itself from deflation. the success of the government's economic policies hinges on whether we can do this. >> the prime minister said companies with improved earnings should consider raising wages or bonuses. in return the japan business federation noted that such businesses are likely to increase bonuses first. he added that some firms will
then go on to raise wages if they can expect a full economic recovery and sustainable income growth. despite abe's call for higher wages, at least one japanese electric maker has decided to cut salaries. pioneer has also announced that it will eliminate 800 jobs. pioneer managers told labor unions they plan to slash about 500 jobs from the regular payroll of about 8,000 workers. they also intend to let some 300 nonregular workers go. in addition, the monthly pay of management level workers will be reduced by 10% beginning april. the company's negotiating wage cuts for other workers with the unions. the firm is expecting to post its first net loss in three years, totaling more than $42 million in this fiscal year that ends in march. earlier it had projected a
profit of over $10 million. and japan's consumer sentiment improved in january for the first time in five months. government officials say consumers expected businesses to do better because of a falling yen and rising stock prices. the cabinet office says the consumer confidence index rose 4.1 points last month from december to 43.3. the increase is the sharpest since april 2004 when comparable figures became available. the data showed that confidence was up in categories like overall livelihood, income growth and employment. the cabinet office has revised its confidence assessment upward. it notes the level of confidence picked up in january. previously the office said it's showing signs of weakness. the tokyo commodity exchange has made a fresh start. it has begun trading not only in industrial commodities but also in farm products.
a ceremony marking the start of the new tokyo commodity exchange, or tokom, was held on tuesday. tokom used to trade only in commodities like gold and crude oil but tokyo grain exchange closed last week and tocom has taken its place. it's handling transactions in four agricultural products including soybean and corn. tocom share in domestic futures trading went up to 99% as a result of the change but its volume of trading is still significantly smaller than on many commodity exchanges overseas. >> translator: our biggest challenge is to build relations with other exchanges. we want to decide the future direction of the tokyo commodity exchange by the middle of this year, or by the end of this year. at the latest.
>> tocom's plans apparently include a possible merger with japan exchange group. this group was created last month following a tie-up between the tokyo stock exchange and the securities exchange. that's all for now in business. japanese prime minister shinzo abe came into office promising to turn the economy around. a new nhk poll suggests members of the public like what he has to say. nhk pollsters interviewed more than 1,000 people over the weekend. 64% said they approve of abe's cabinet, the same rating as a month ago. compare that to the support for former prime minister yuk noticed dough's cabinet. pollsters asked people what the
government should put more effort into. about a third shows economic stimulus. 13% shows reforms to social security. the interviewers also asked about an incident last month in the east china sea. japanese officials say a chinese naval vessel locked its weapons targeting radar on one of their destroyers. the pollsters asked whether people felt the risk of an accidental collision with the two sides was increasing. 31% said they felt strongly the risk was rising. almost half said they felt an increase to a certain degree. the pollsters asked how japan should deal with china. the majority said the government should focus more on improving relations. 30% said japan should take a stronger stance. two-thirds of the respondents said they strongly or somewhat support abe's approach to the economy. we have been following japanese politics for years. so, myoko, what do you think is
behind the high approval rating? >> i think it's no exaggeration to say his popularity is due to his economic policies. in fact, 68% said they agree with what he's doing. abenomics is based on three pillars. public spending, monetary easing and a sustainable growth strategy. his approach so far has driven up stock prices and weakened the yen. we've used our current polling methods since 2004. in the last six governments have seen their approval rating drop within the first few months in office. as you just pointed out that's not the case now. 64% approved of the job the cabinet is doing. so, i think people appreciate abe's approach and also they have very high expectations of what's -- what's to come. >> lawmakers are back at work in the diet. what can abe expect? >> well, first of all, he has to choose the governor for the bank
of japan. masaaki, the current governor, will step down next month. abe has repeatedly said that the next chief must be someone who shares his ideas on monetary policy. but it's not as simple as that. the appointment of the governor requires the approval of both houses of the diet. and the ruling liberal democratic party and its coalition partner new komeito. he'll have to decide whether japan should take parts on the transpacific partnership free trade agreement. he said he will decide before the elections this summer for the upper house. politicians are divided. it's not just the opposition, but his colleagues within his party do not like the idea either. remember, abe has sat at this
desk in his office before and he knows how quickly things can change for a prime minister. >> thanks very much, mayuko. parts of tokyo will be seeing snow flurries overnight. meteorologist robert speda is here with more details along with the rest of world weather. robert? >> that's right, gene. if you're not seeing the snow it will still be rain. you want to have the umbrella nearby. not just in tokyo but across much of japan, especially on the pacific side here. we have this storm system coming in from the west. this is already bringing thunderstorm activity. about 61 kilometer per hour winds have been seen in okinawa. now all that energy is beginning to shift off to the northeast. could be seeing some snow here in tokyo. mainly into the early morning hours. as this pushes overhead, those temperatures drop down just cold enough. a flurry or two will be in the air here.
a little farther inland because near the coastlines, that's where you'll start to see that modifying effect from the ocean. mainly going to be staying rain here across the coastal areas and shifting completely over to snow into the toe hoke co-region. 65 kilometer winds. definitely a storm to watch going through the day here on wednesday. the good news behind it on thursday, clearing right up. high pressure is going to be ridging in here. clearer skies already being seen across korea, northeastern china. beijing only a high of 4. air stagnation could occur here because the high pressure sitting in again. we were seeing that a couple weeks ago. meanwhile, farther to the south, nice and warm weather across the tropics. not much as far as tropical activity here as well. now, here into the americas, see this frontal area extending across the gulf states? this is where we've been seeing severe weather over the weekend,
even the ef-4 tornado reported in hattiesburg. well, does look like that severe weather is slowly clearing up. there is still the risk of damaging winds and even some hail into the coming days because of this system that is coming in from the west. that's going to start to pull in moisture from the south. flash flooding at risk here in the gulf states. that severe weather risk continuing right along the coastline. but meanwhile, this is going to mix in with cold air out of the plains. 10 to 15 centimeters as well will be accumulating, especially into the panhandle of oklahoma and also toward texas. the same storm system will work its way off to the northeast. very well going to be creating hazardous travel conditions by the end of the week. something to watch out for there into new england as well. speaking of new england, we have a storm system pushing out there for today. that's eventually going to move off to the canadian maritimes. very high winds and rough waves near the coast lines is going to be expected here. behind it, cold temperatures. take a look at oklahoma city, 2.
houston, 22. that's what's fueling that severe weather down here. even that snowfall there, just a huge difference in temperatures. now, over towards europe we have a storm system in the mediterranean. very well developed. gusty winds across portions italy. that's all going to change over here over towards the balkans. mix in with cold air as well. across the alps toward crow a aceh and higher elevations you'll see heavy snow accumulations. british isles, clear conditions for now but wednesday going into thursday, next storm system will be coming in. some heavy rain, winds up to 65 kilometers per hour and also warm up in temperatures. right now 3 for the high. paris at 6. looks like this will go up 5, 6 degrees as that southerly warm air continues to bring that air down from the i beer yan peninsula. that's a look at the world weather. here's a look at the extended forecast.