France's defense minister said Wednesday that North Korea's alleged nuclear bomb test produced an explosion so small that if indeed nuclear, it was a failure.
Michele Alliot-Marie, speaking on French radio, said the exact cause of the North Korean explosion remained unclear - but French, US and other experts detected it was of "relatively limited size."
"Today, given this weakness, it has been difficult to determine whether this was an blast from a large amount of classic explosives, or whether it was a nuclear blast," she told Europe-1.
"In any case, if this was a nuclear explosion, it would be a case of a failed explosion - though that doesn't change anything about the severity of things," Alliot-Marie said.
"It contradicts the position of international institutions over nuclear weapons proliferation, and everything we are trying to do to bring stability to this part of Asia," she added.