TOKYO - Japan will consider its own sanctions against North Korea which has appeared to have conducted a nuclear test, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday.

"I have ordered that we consider every possible way to address this issue, including our own sanctions, while cooperating with other countries," Abe told reporters after a meeting of Japan's security council.

North Korea likely conducted a nuclear test on Tuesday, said South Korea's defence ministry, after seismic activity measuring 4.9 magnitude was registered by the US Geological Survey.

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