OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has condemned North Korea's latest nuclear test as reckless and provocative.

The reclusive nation set off the blast today in defiance of UN warnings.

"The North Korean regime's reckless disregard for the global will is again on display," Baird said in a statement. "This test — North Korea's third — is provocative and marks a serious, misguided threat to regional peace and security."

He said it's even more troubling that North Korea is running a nuclear program while its people go hungry.

"What makes such actions even more unconscionable is the fact that the North Korean people starve and are denied their basic human dignity while the Pyongyang regime squanders limited resources."

It was hoped that the death of dictator Kim Jong Il might have meant change, Baird said. But those hopes were misplaced.

"We are disappointed that his son has continued the irresponsible path of placing weapons before the well-being of people.

The test was North Korea's first since young leader Kim Jong Un took power after his father's death.

Baird said Canada will work with other nations to pursue "all appropriate actions and sanctions against the rogue regime in North Korea."

The test raises concerns that North Korea is another step closer to producing a warhead that could be fitted to a long-range missile.

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