BEIJING (USA TODAY) - Several nations including the United States and China
assailed North Korea on Tuesday for conducting a nuclear test, and the
United Nations Security Council called the test "a clear threat to
international peace and security."
The Security Council issued a statement that cited a
resolution it approved unanimously last month that stepped up sanctions
and promised "significant action" in the event of a new nuclear test.
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," Tuesday's
North Korea said the test was merelyits "first response" to U.S. threats, and said it will continue with
unspecified "second and third measures of greater intensity" if
Washington maintains its hostility.
The strength of China's
objection to the test may indicate a willingness to support stronger
measures against North Korea, which depends on China for much of its
foreign aid and basic materials such as fuel, experts said. China is a
member of the U.N. Security Council.
Wu Qiang, with the Department
of Political Science at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said China had
publicly opposed the test earlier this month and under new its new
leader, Xi Jinping, it may be less patient with the North.
"He may support South Korea, and decrease petrol, rice and trade aid in the future to apply sanctions," Wu said.
However, China will also consider the reactions from ordinary Chinese toward the nuclear test, Wu said.
foreign minister called North Korea's ambassador in to demand his
country cease making further threats. Yang Jiechi delivered a "stern
representation" to Ambassador Ji Jae Ryong and expressed China's "strong
dissatisfaction and firm opposition" to Tuesday's test, the ministry
said in a statement posted to its website.
"Yang Jiechi demanded
that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea side cease talk that
further escalates the situation and swiftly return to the correct
channel of dialogue and negotiation," the statement said.
President Obama on Tuesday called North Korea's third successful
nuclear test a "highly provocative act" that "undermines regional
stability" and threatens action by the international community. He said
North Korea's nuclear program constitutes "a threat to U.S. national
The White House released the statement early Tuesday
after North Korea detonated a miniaturized nuclear device at a
northeastern test site, defying U.N. Security Council orders to shut
down atomic activity or face more sanctions and international isolation.
Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon also condemned the test, saying it was
"deplorable that Pyongyang defied the strong and unequivocal call from
the international community to refrain from any further provocative
South Korea's spy agency, the National Intelligence
Service (NIS), warned that North Korea may conduct an additional nuclear
test and launch a long-range missile if the U.N. moves to penalize it
for its third nuclear test, the Yonhap news agency reported.
a meeting with lawmakers belonging to the parliament's intelligence
committee, the NIS said that it is too early to say the North has
succeeded in weaponizing its nuclear technology, the news agency said..
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the test a "grave threat" that could
not be tolerated. The Russian Foreign Ministry also condemned the North
"We insist on North Korea putting an end to all
illegal actions, complying to all U.N. Security Council orders, and
fully giving up nuclear missile programs," Russia said in the official
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking to
reporters in Pretoria, South Africa, said Moscow will continue efforts
to get North Korea to participate in six-party talks "and we believe it
is important to ensure its denuclearization."
"Increasing military tensions in the region is extremely dangerous," he said.
six-party talks, which began in 2003, seek a peaceful solution to the
security concerns raised by the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
The talks include the United States, China, Russia, Japan, North Korea
and South Korea. The talks followed passage of three U.N. resolutions
that forbid the North from testing nuclear systems or transferring the
technology to other states.
The United States has said it suspects
North Korea has been sharing its progress with Iran, which is also
accused of pursuing a nuclear weapon. The underground explosion could
take North Korea a big step closer to its goal of building a nuclear
warhead small enough to be mounted on a long-range missile that could
threaten the United States.
Professor Yu Chung Sik, a political
expert from South Korean teaching in Shanghai International Studies
University, said there is little China will do in the end.
will pretend to be annoyed by North Korea's nuclear test again, but
China has less impact on North Korea than before. In the end, China has
to accept the reality, Yu said. "Although we are in tension now, I'm
sure it will loosen in the future."
Chinese asked about the test said it was an example of how the two countries have drifted far apart.
I was young, I loved North Korean movies and songs and in my opinion,
China and North Korea are good brothers, we fought American imperialism
together and the relationship would last for 10,000 years," said Zhang
Xuebin, 64, a retired worker living in Songzhuang. "Now I found it's not
the case. China is developing fast; North Korea is still like the old
"If North Korea becomes more and more crazy, we may turn from friends into enemies someday."
state media said the test was conducted in a safe manner and is aimed
at coping with "outrageous" U.S. hostility that "violently" undermines
the North's peaceful, sovereign rights to launch satellites. North Korea
faced sanctions after a December launch of a rocket the U.N. and
Washington called a cover for a banned missile test.
The North said it used a "lighter, miniaturized atomic bomb" that still has more explosive force than past tests.
stations in South Korea detected an earthquake in the North with a
magnitude of 4.9 and the South's Defense Ministry said that corresponds
to an estimated explosive yield of 6-7 kilotons. The United States
Geological Survey said earlier Tuesday that it had detected a
"I was driving when the earthquake
happened," said Zhang Binbo, a hotel owner Erdaobaihe township, Antu
County in Jilin province.
"Many of my relatives called me to tell
me they felt the house was a little shaking, which lasted for around one
minute," he said. "I think North Korea is a little crazy.
China could give North Korea more pressure to ease the tension. We
don't want any war or any dangerous weapon test anymore. Although the
influence might be less than before, China still has a say in North
Korea issue, I think," Zhang said.
The nuclear test is North
Korea's first since leader Kim Jong Un took power in December 2011
following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, and marks a bold
statement for the young leader as he unveils his domestic and foreign
policy for a country long estranged from the West.
regular tests are needed to perfect North Korea's goal of building
nuclear warheads small enough to be placed on long-range missiles. This
atomic test - North Korea's third since 2006 - is expected to take
Pyongyang closer to possessing nuclear-tipped missiles designed to
strike the United States.
China expressed firm opposition to the test but called for a calm response by all sides.