Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has condemned the nuclear test carried out by North Korea today, saying it is of "deep concern".
Seismic activity measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale occurred in North Korea earlier today, arousing suspicion of a nuclear test. North Korea later confirmed it had carried out a test.
This is the third test North Korea has done since 2006.
"North Korea continues to blatantly defy United Nations Security Council resolutions - that is of deep concern and represents a significant threat to peace and security in the region," McCully said.
He said the country was breaching its international obligations.
"Its recent action flies in the face of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, to which New Zealand is strongly committed," said McCully.
"New Zealand continues to urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes, and instead to focus its energy on improving the lives of its people and on engaging constructively with the international community."
North Korea's previous nuclear weapons tests led to United Nations Space Command resolutions and sanctions.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the test as "deplorable", and UN diplomats said the Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss the possibility of imposing new sanctions on North Korea's capital Pyongyang.
The magnitude of an unusual seismic event was 4.9 on the Richter scale, bigger than the 4.52 measured when the North carried out a test in 2009.
Other countries who have condemned North Korea's latest nuclear test include the United Kingdom, Russia and the United States.