North Korea conducts third n-test
Korea said Tuesday that it had successfully conducted a third
nuclear test to safeguard its national security against hostile US
policy, a move that prompted South Korea to put its military on
high alert. The
Pyongyang/Seoul/Washington: Highly secretive North Korea revealed Tuesday it had
conducted a third nuclear test, drawing condemnation from around
the world and prompting South Korea to put its military on high
alert and summon a meeting of the UN Security Council.
Pyongyang, which conducted similar nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009,
said the latest test, carried out in the Kilju county in North
Hamkyung province, was to safeguard its national security against
"hostile" American policy.
The world learnt about the nuclear test when an artificial
earthquake of magnitude 4.9 was detected from the location where
the North Korean nuclear test facility is located.
North Korea claimed the nuclear test was successful, Xinhua
reported, citing the country's official KCNA news agency.
US President Barack Obama slammed the "highly provocative act".
"This is a highly provocative act that, following its December 12
ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates
North Korea's obligations under numerous United Nations Security
He said North Korea's latest move contravenes its commitments
under the Sep 19, 2005, Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks on
North Korea's nuclear programmes and "increases the risk of
Calling North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile
programmes as a threat to US national security and to
international peace and security, Obama said the US "remains
vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in
our defense commitments to allies in the region".
Pyongyang vowed to proceed with missile and nuclear tests
targeting the US, its "sworn enemy", after the UN Security Council
adopted a resolution to condemn its Dec 12 rocket launch.
South Korea's military was immediately put on heightened alert to
deter potential cross-border provocations, while the South Korean
and US forces upgraded their border surveillance level.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the nuclear test conducted
by North Korea was "regrettable".
The South Korean government called it a "clear violation" of UN
"North Korea will not be able to avoid being held accountable for
(the test)," National Security Adviser Chun Yung-Woo told
reporters after an emergency security meeting presided over by
President Lee Myung-bak.
Neighbour China expressed its "firm" opposition to the latest
North Korea "conducted another nuclear test in disregard of the
common opposition of the international community", said the
Chinese foreign ministry, adding that "the Chinese government is
firmly opposed to this act".
The foreign ministry said it was the firm stand of China to bring
about denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, prevent nuclear
proliferation, and safeguard peace and stability in northeast
"The Chinese government calls on all parties to respond in a
cool-headed manner and persist in resolving the issue of
denuclearisation of the Peninsula through dialogue and
consultation within the context of the Six-Party Talks," it said.
The six-party talks, a negotiation mechanism that includes North
Korea, South Korea, the US, China, Japan and Russia, were launched
in 2003 but stalled in December 2008. North Korea quit the talks
in April 2009.
NATO and European Union (EU) also condemned the nuclear test.
"We condemn in the strongest terms the test by North Korea of a
nuclear weapon, conducted in flagrant violation of relevant United
Nations Security Council resolutions," said NATO.
Condemning the test "in the strongest possible terms", the EU
foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said it was "one more step
in a long-running programme to develop a nuclear weapon
India described the nuclear test as a "matter of deep concern" and
called upon Pyongyang to "refrain" from actions that would
adversely affect peace and security in the region.
"It is a matter of deep concern" that North Korea carried out the
nuclear test in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, said
the Indian external affairs ministry's spokesperson.
"We call upon DPRK to refrain from such actions that can have an
adverse effect on the peace and stability of the region," he
Pakistan also expressed regret over Pyongyang's nuclear test.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council also met behind closed doors
Tuesday in an emergency session on the latest nuclear test by
North Korea. The meeting was called by South Korea, which holds
the rotating council presidency for February.