SALT LAKE CITY — North Korea's unexpected weapons test is a worrisome display of aggression that shows "this is an extraordinarily dangerous time," Utah Rep. Chris Stewart said.

Whether the test was in fact the detonation of a hydrogen bomb, as North Korea's leaders and its state-run media claimed, the hostile exercise threatens the stability of the region, said Stewart, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

"They’re incredibly unpredictable to the point that their only ally, the only one who has any leverage over them at all, which is China, is throwing up their hands in frustration," Stewart told KSL Newsradio's Doug Wright on Wednesday.

In the past, North Korea has at least notified other countries in advance of its bomb tests, the Utah Republican said.

"They (used to go) through at least the minimum protocols of announcing what their intentions were," Stewart said. "They didn’t do it in this circumstance. They didn’t tell their friends and allies, i.e. China, what they were doing, and I think that shows us a little bit of a glimpse into their mind (and) how isolated they really feel."

Stewart met with the rest of the Intelligence Committee for three hours Wednesday morning.

"This is not the only topic that we discussed. It’s one of several," he said.

Later in a KSL-TV interview, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, faulted President Barack Obama for not being assertive enough against North Korea's dictatorship government.

"All over the world, they’re testing him," Hatch said of Obama's relationships with other leaders.

Email: blockhart@deseretnews.com

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