Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in South Korea on Monday for a summit with President Roh Moo-hyun that was intended to be a fence-mending mission but was overshadowed by North Korea's nuclear weapons test.
Abe arrived for the summit, the first between the two neighbors in more than a year, just as North and South Korean media were reporting that the isolated communist regime had conducted its first test of a nuclear device.
"We must collect and analyze information to determine whether North Korea actually conducted the test," Abe told reporters upon his arrival.
A senior delegation official traveling with Abe, who assumed office two weeks ago, said the Japanese leader had no further comment.
Abe was in Seoul after a summit in China, where he and President Hu Jintao agreed that a test by North Korea would be "intolerable" and vowed to work to persuade Pyongyang to return to multilateral talks aimed at getting it to abandon its nuclear ambitions.