North Korea Nuclear Test Deplored by United Nations

North Korea has reportedly exploded a nuclear device in what the country says is a test.
North Korea has reportedly exploded a nuclear device in what the country says is a test.
North Korea has reportedly exploded a nuclear device in what the country says is a test.
North Korea has reportedly exploded a nuclear device in what the country says is a test.

NEW YORK – INTERNATIONAL – Reports from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that the country has tested a nuclear device has garnered concern from around the world. Today, the United Nations at all levels today deplored the underground nuclear test announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling it “deeply troubling” and the UN Security Council vowing to immediately begin considering the “significant measures” it had vowed to take in the event of another nuclear test by the country.

Calling the announced incident “a grave contravention of the international norm against nuclear testing,” Mr. Ban, addressing reporters at UN Headquarters, added: “This act is profoundly destabilizing for regional security and seriously undermines international non-proliferation efforts. I condemn it unequivocally.”

The United States Defense Secretary Ash Carter and South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo spoke by telephone today to discuss potential responses by the alliance to the apparent nuclear test conducted by North Korea yesterday, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.

In a Defense Department statement, Cook said that the two leaders “agreed that any such test would be an unacceptable and irresponsible provocation and is both a flagrant violation of international law and a threat to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the entire Asia-Pacific region.”

During the call, the defense secretary reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to South Korea’s defense, he said, adding that “this commitment includes all aspects of the United States’ extended deterrence.”

In turn, Cook said, Han emphasized the strength of the U.S.-South Korea alliance “and its vital role in assuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and across the Asia-Pacific.”

The two leaders agreed that North Korea’s provocations should have consequences, he said.

Carter and Han “reaffirmed that the international community does not and will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state, and pledged that both sides would coordinate appropriate alliance responses to these provocations,” Cook said. “They also agreed to the importance of close coordination with the international community and regional partners in condemning this action.”

The UN chief went on to demand that the DPRK cease any further nuclear activities and meet its obligations for verifiable denuclearization.

“We are monitoring and assessing developments in close coordination with the concerned international organisations – including the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) – and interested parties,” concluded the Secretary-General.

The Vienna-based CTBTO, which will be officially established when the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty enters into force, oversees the International Monitoring System (IMS), which, when complete, consist of 337 facilities worldwide to monitor the planet for signs of nuclear explosions.

Immediately following urgent closed-door talks this morning, members of the Security Council strongly condemned this test, which the deemed a clear violation of resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), and 2094 (2013), and of the non-proliferation regime.

In a statement to the press, the Council’s 15 members also recalled that they have previously expressed determination to take “further significant measures” in the event of another DPRK nuclear test, and in line with this commitment and the gravity of this violation, they said the Council will begin to work immediately on such measures in a new resolution.

Following the announcement today by the DPRK, the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that if the nuclear test is confirmed, it is in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions and is “deeply regrettable.”

“I strongly urge the DPRK to implement fully all relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the IAEA,” said Director General Yukiya Amano in a statement.

He added that the IAEA remains ready to contribute to the peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue “by resuming its nuclear verification activities in the DPRK once a political agreement is reached among countries concerned.”

Meanwhile, the CTBTO has said that its monitoring stations picked up “an unusual seismic event” in the DPRK today at 01:30:00 (UTC), and that its initial location estimate shows that the event took place in the area of the DPRK’s nuclear test site. If confirmed this will be the fourth nuclear test carried out by the country since 2006. CTBTO experts are “analysing the event to establish more about its nature.”

“If confirmed as a nuclear test, this act constitutes a breach of the universally accepted norm against nuclear testing; a norm that has been respected by 183 countries since 1996,” said the Executive Secretary of the CBTO, Lassina Zerbo, in a statement.

“It is also a grave threat to international peace and security,” he continued. “I urge the DPRK to refrain from further nuclear testing and to join the 183 States Signatories who have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.”

“It’s about time that we be more proactive rather than being reactive to what the North Koreans are doing,” Mr. Zerbo underscored in an interview with UN Radio.

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