If reports are confirmed, what was a threat is now an issue the global community must face.
Aleen Sirgany has the latest report on North Korea's recent play to join the ranks of the world's nuclear powers.
North Korea's claims it conducted an underground nuclear test.. sent shockwaves through the international community.
The U-S Geological Survey and other seismic monitoring centers detected a tremor that coincided with the time of the test.
Condemnation came quickly.. South Korea suspended aid shipments and raised its military's alert level.. Japan set up a response task force.. even China urged a return to disarmament talks.
John Howard the Australian Prime Minister said, "North Korea is very gravely mistaken if she thinks that a nuclear test will improve that country's bargaining position."
Overnight White House spokesman Tony Snow said North Korea's test "would constitute a provocative act in defiance of the will of the international community."
He called for the U-N to take immediate action. The security council is expected to meet today.. with the U-S pushing for sanctions. Here's what ambassador John Bolton said just last Friday.
John Bolton US Ambassador to the UN replied, "if they do test it, it will be a very different world the day after the test."
North Korea pulled out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 2003.. and for the last year has refused to rejoin disarmament talks.
"The U.S. is certainly in a quandary because the last thing we want is nuclear proliferation certainly among states we consider less than rational actors.. North Korea falls into that category."
President Bush got word of the event about 20 minutes after it happened.. and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has spent the night on the phone with her counterparts in the region.
Aleen Sirgany, CBS News, Washington.