10 things you need to know today: February 12, 2013

North Korea conducts a nuclear test, Obama preps for the State of the Union, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

South Koreans watch a television broadcast reporting North Korea's nuclear test at the Seoul Railway station on Feb. 12.
(Image credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

1. NORTH KOREA STAGES LONG-THREATENED NUCLEAR TEST

North Korea confirmed Tuesday that it had conducted its third nuclear test, provoking immediate and harsh criticism from foreign leaders. President Obama called the long-threatened move a "highly provocative act" demanding "swift and credible action by the international community." China, which had urged Pyongyang not to conduct the test, declared its "staunch opposition" but urged calm. The United Nations Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting for Tuesday. North Korea's official KCNA news service said the test involved a "miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force" than those the reclusive communist regime tested in 2006 and 2009, suggesting the country had made strides toward becoming a full-fledged nuclear power. [New York Times]

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