World powers react to hydrogen bomb test by North Korea

International community reacts to hydrogen bomb test claim by North Korea while UN Security Council vows to work on putting forward new measures

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

After North Korea reported its test of a hydrogen bomb, the international community has strongly condemned the move and the UN Security Council vowed to work on putting forward new measures during an emergency meeting held on Wednesday.

Uruguay's UN Ambassador Elbio Rosselli said "The members of the Security Council ... recalled that they have previously expressed their determination to take further significant measures in the event of another DPRK [North Korea] nuclear test," Rosselli, president of the council for this month, told reporters.

A screen capture from a video of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket lifting off from the Sohae launching station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea in December 2012. (Reuters)

The emergency meeting was requested by the United States and Japan according to Hagar Chemali, spokeswoman for the US mission who said "While we cannot confirm at this time that a test was carried out, we condemn any violation of UNSC [UN Security Council] Resolutions and again call on North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments," earlier in the day.

North Korea announced on Wednesday morning that a test of a miniaturised hydrogen nuclear device had been successfully accomplished and underlined it as a significant improvement in the isolated state's strike power.

The incident calls attention all over the world

The South Korean presidential office's senior security official said they would take all possible measures, including potential United Nations sanctions, against Pyongyang, after its fourth nuclear test.

"We will find out after closely analysing it but we understand a small amount of hydrogen may have been added to the fourth nuclear test," ministry spokesman, Kim Min seok, told reporters.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that Japan would take a strong stance against North Korea's nuclear non-proliferation.

"North Korea's nuclear test is a serious threat to our nation's security and we absolutely cannot tolerate it... We strongly denounce it," Abe told reporters.

Japan's top government spokesman said they would be in communication with the United States, South Korea, China and Russia on this issue.

"This is something we cannot accept, we strongly protest this," chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said during a news conference.

Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga indicated, "As of 4.45 this afternoon, no radiation has been detected at any Japanese monitoring posts,"

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned North Korea to damp out its nuclear weapons programme.

"North Korea should abandon nuclear weapons and existing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and engage in credible and authentic talks on denuclearisation," NATO's chief said in a statement.

British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said that the test is a "provocation which I condemn without reservation" and a "grave breach" of UNSC resolutions.

British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, added that the UK and China are against North Korea's testing and support the restart of the six-party disarmament talks.

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, stated that Beijing clearly opposes Pyongyang's attempt and would move with the international community on the denuclearisation of North Korea.

Russia is "extremely worried" about the test, Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

"President Vladimir Putin has ordered to study thoroughly the readings of all monitoring stations, including seismological ones, and analyse the situation in case the reports about the (H-bomb) test are confirmed," Peskov stated.

Meanwhile, France also condemned North Korea, calling for a "strong reaction from the international community."

President Francois Hollande's office underlined the test as "an unacceptable violation of [UN] Security Council resolutions."

Germany said it would call North Korea's ambassador on Wednesday following Pyongyang reporting its test.

"Now it is planned for the North Korean ambassador, for this reason, to be summoned to the Foreign Ministry," ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told a government news conference, adding the step was "a strong signal, even a protest".

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation also condemned the test.

“This act constitutes a breach of the universally accepted norm against nuclear testing," Lassina Zerbo, head of the organisation told Reuters.

"It is also a grave threat to international peace and security," he added.

This has been the fourth nuclear test North Korea has conducted. Between 2006 and 2013, North Korea conducted three nuclear tests that were condemned internationally. Following the 2013 nuclear test, China joined the UN Security Council in a sanctions resolution.   

It has not been determined what action, if any, will be taken in reaction to North Korea’s statement over the fourth round of nuclear testing.

UN Security Council has imposed sanctions to North Korea because of its nuclear weapons programme, since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.

A Western diplomat stated that if the last Pyongyang nuclear test was confirmed, the UNSC members would be likely to expand the current UN sanctions against North Korea.


TRTWorld and agencies