North Korea’s latest nuclear test was condemned strongly by the UN Security Council on Tuesday. The council also vowed to take action against the country for an act that all major powers denounced.
Reuters reports that South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan stated:
“The members of the Security Council strongly condemned this test, which is a grave violation of Security Council resolutions.”
The Foreign Minister added that the council will go on now to consider “appropriate measures” for the nuclear test. China, which has supported North Korea in the past, also denounced the test.
US President Barack Obama also commented about the test, saying:
“The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community.”
Several diplomats believe that North Korea chose Monday to detonate an atomic device because Obama will give the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. They noted that Pyongyang usually makes moves like the latest nuclear test on important days in the US calendar.
The Washington Post notes that the language in the Security Council’s statement was stronger than its initial reaction to North Korea’s previous two nuclear tests and its most recent rocket launch.
Diplomats explained that the language reflects the council’s growing anger over Pyongyang’s continued defiance of the council, as well as sanctions. There will almost certainly be more sanctions against North Korea after the most recent nuclear test. The strength of those sanctions will largely depend on China, North Korea’s closest trading partner.
The council promised strengthened sanctions and other “significant action” should North Korea test another nuclear missile. Tuesday’s statement also read:
“In line with this commitment and the gravity of this violation, the members of the Security Council will begin work immediately on appropriate measures in a Security Council resolution.”
North Korea is the only country in the world to carry out nuclear tests in the 21st century.
[Image by Federal Government of the United States [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]