SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea condemned North Korea’s third nuclear test as a violation of U.N. resolutions, an “unacceptable threat” to peace and stability in the region and a “head-on challenge” to the international community.
The government also warned that Pyongyang will be seriously held accountable for its defiance in an official statement issued after President Lee Myung-bak held an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.
Lee was also to meet with President-elect Park Geun-hye to discuss the security crisis.
The nuclear test “is an unacceptable threat to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and the region and a head-on challenge to the international community,” said Chun Yung-woo, senior presidential secretary, reading a government statement. “North Korea won’t be able to avoid grave responsibility.”
South Korea will try to take every possible measure to get North Korea to surrender its nuclear programs, including actions through the U.N. Security Council, based on the principle that it won’t tolerate North Korean nuclear tests, the official said.
Chun also said the government will try to deploy longer-range missiles capable of striking all of North Korea at an early date.
North Korea says it conducted nuclear test
North Korea has successfully carried out an underground nuclear test of a new, “miniaturised” device , state media says.
State-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the test was conducted in a safe manner and is aimed at coping with “outrageous” US hostility that “violently” undermines the North’s peaceful, sovereign rights to launch satellites.
“The high-level nuclear test, unlike in the past, had more explosive power and involved a miniaturised and lighter atomic bomb and was staged safely and perfectly,” KCNA said.
The announcement came after seismic activity measuring 4.9 magnitude was registered on Tuesday by the US Geological Survey.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the test, saying it was “deplorable” that Pyongyang had defied international appeals to refrain from such provocative acts.
“The secretary-general condemns the underground nuclear weapon test conducted by [North Korea] today,” Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a statement. “It is a clear and grave violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.”
Several countries joined the condemnation, with Japan saying it was “extremely regrettable” and Russia calling it a violation of Pyongyang’s international obligations.
The UK said it would begin “urgent consultations with Security Council partners calling for a robust response”.
- ‘Nuclear test’ detected in North Korea (abc.net.au)
- North Korea conducts ‘nuclear test’ (aljazeera.com)
- North Korea ‘quake’ amid test fears (bbc.co.uk)