Israel has joined the West in condemning North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test.

"Israel views the second North Korean nuclear test with extreme gravity, and is party to the global concern caused by this event," according to a Foreign Ministry statement released on Monday.

"Furthermore, Israel is concerned with North Korea's nuclear proliferation, which has negative implications in this region," the statement read.

"Israel expects the international community to respond decisively to the nuclear detonation by North Korea, so as to transmit an unambiguous message to other countries."

In Pyongyang, North Korea said that it had carried out a powerful underground nuclear test - much larger than one conducted in 2006. The regime also test-fired three short-range, ground-to-air missiles later Monday from the same northeastern site where it launched a rocket last month, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed sources.

President Barack Obama assailed North Korea on Monday for the new missile tests, saying the world must "stand up to Pyongyang and demand that it honor a promise to abandon it nuclear ambitions."

Appearing on the White House steps, Obama said that its latest nuclear underground test and subsequent test firings of short-range ground to air missiles "pose a grave threat to the peace and security of the world and I strongly condemn their reckless action."