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North Korea nuclear explosion roundly criticized

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

NEW YORK – The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear test on September 9 and said it is a clear violation of repeated calls on the country to halt such activity.

In a press statement issued in the aftermath, after the Council held urgent consultations on the situation, the 15-member body underlined that the test is a clear violation and “in flagrant disregard” of several Security Council resolutions, as well as of the non-proliferation regime.

“Therefore a clear threat to international peace and security continues to exist,” the statement said.

Furthermore, members the Council also recalled that they had previously expressed their determination to take further significant measures in the event of another DPRK nuclear test.

“In line with this commitment and the gravity of this violation, the members of the Security Council will begin to work immediately on appropriate measures under Article 41 in a Security Council resolution,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, the United States State Department said in a statement that the explosion “is as destabilizing as it is unlawful, flagrantly violating multiple UN Security Council Resolutions and the D.P.R.K.’s own commitments.

“We remain committed to defending the American people and honoring our security commitments to our allies in the region. We are prepared to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure our alliances continue to defend against this growing threat to international peace and security. The United States remains steadfast in our defense commitments to our allies in the region, using all the capabilities at our disposal, including our extended deterrence commitments.

“The United States intends to work with UN Security Council partners to take robust steps in response to this provocation. We expect our Six Party Partners to take necessary steps to ensure the D.P.R.K. regime understands there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions.

“The D.P.R.K.’s repeated and willful violations of its obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions, its belligerent and erratic threats, and web of illicit activities around the world indicate it has no interest in participating in global affairs as a responsible member of the international community.”

President Obama weighed in as well:

President Obama
President Obama
“The United States condemns North Korea’s September 9 nuclear test in the strongest possible terms as a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability. North Korea stands out as the only country to have tested nuclear weapons this century. Today’s test, North Korea’s second this year, follows an unprecedented campaign of ballistic missile launches, which North Korea claims are intended to serve as delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons targeting the United States and our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan. As Commander in Chief, I have a responsibility to safeguard the American people and ensure that the United States is leading the international community in responding to this threat and North Korea’s other provocations with commensurate resolve and condemnation.

“To be clear, the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state. Far from achieving its stated national security and economic development goals, North Korea’s provocative and destabilizing actions have instead served to isolate and impoverish its people through its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities. Today’s nuclear test, a flagrant violation of multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, makes clear North Korea’s disregard for international norms and standards for behavior and demonstrates it has no interest in being a responsible member of the international community.

“Last night I returned from the G-20 and East Asia Summit meetings in Asia, where my counterparts and I were united in our call for North Korea to return to the path of denuclearization. Upon hearing the news of the test, I had the opportunity to consult separately via phone with Republic of Korea (ROK) President Park Geun-Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. We agreed to work with the UN Security Council, our other Six-Party partners, and the international community to vigorously implement existing measures imposed in previous resolutions, and to take additional significant steps, including new sanctions, to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions. I restated to President Park and Prime Minister Abe the unshakable U.S. commitment to take necessary steps to defend our allies in the region, including through our deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to the ROK, and the commitment to provide extended deterrence, guaranteed by the full spectrum of U.S. defense capabilities.”

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