UN Security Council strongly condemns North Korea nuclear test

UN Security Council strongly condemns North Korea nuclear test

UN Security Council strongly condemns North Korea nuclear test

An earthquake in North Korea that appeared to be an explosion happened in the same area as two previous nuclear tests, said Tibor Toth, the executive secretary of the UN's Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. The UN Security Council met 12 February following a request from Seoul. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

The UN Security Council on Tuesday "strongly condemned" North Korea for staging a third nuclear weapons test and said it would start work "immediately" on new measures against Pyongyang.

The blast was a "clear threat to international peace and security," said South Korea's Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan said reading a council statement after a closed meeting.

North Korea will face "increasing isolation and pressure" because of its third nuclear test, the US envoy to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said after the meeting.

Rice told reporters the 15-member body would start immediate talks on new sanctions. North Korea's actions "will not be tolerated and they will be met with North Korea's increasing isolation and pressure under United Nations sanctions," she said.

Iran calls for end to nuclear arms after N. Korea test

Sanctions-hit Iran on Tuesday called for the destruction of all atomic weapons after North Korea announced that it had staged its most powerful nuclear test yet.

"We need to come to the point where no country has any nuclear weapons and at the same time all weapons of mass destruction and nuclear arms need to be destroyed," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said when asked for a response to Pyongyang's claim to have detonated a "miniaturised" device.

"At the same all countries should have the right to make use of nuclear activities for peaceful purposes," Mehmanparast said at his weekly press briefing.

Iran has been slapped with numerous international sanctions due to its controversial nuclear programme, which the West insists masks a drive for atomic weapons despite repeated denials by Tehran.

China expresses 'firm opposition' to North Korea nuclear test: foreign ministry

China said on Tuesday it strongly opposed North Korea's latest nuclear test and urged its ally to abide by its non-nuclear commitment and not take any actions that would worsen the situation on the Korean peninsula, Reuters has reported.

"It is China's firm stance to realise non-nuclearisation for the Korean peninsula and prevent nuclear proliferation and maintain peace and stability in northeast Asia" the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

North Korea, which is banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions from developing nuclear and missile technology, said the test "was carried out at a high level in a safe and perfect manner", according to its official KCNA news agency.

Germany says UN should mull more sanctions against N.Korea

The United Nations should consider more sanctions against North Korea as a response to Pyongyang's third nuclear test, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Tuesday.

Condemning the test "in the strongest possible terms", Westerwelle said in statement: "Further sanctions against the regime in Pyongyang should now be considered."

France's Hollande condemns N.Korea nuclear test

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday strongly condemned North Korea's nuclear test and said Paris would back firm action by the UN Security Council.

"I condemn in the strongest terms the latest nuclear test by North Korea," he said in a statement, adding that France "will back strong action by the UN Security Council and will work to this end with its partners".

Hollande called on Pyongyang to "unconditionally abstain from staging any acts which will heighten tension in the Korean peninsula and impact on peace and international security." He also urged North Korea to abide by "its international obligations and proceed to completely and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear and ballistic programme in a manner which is verifiable".

Obama rebukes North Korea over test

US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that North Korea's "provocative" nuclear test did not make it more secure and called for "swift" and "credible" international action in response, AFP has reported.

Obama also vowed in a written statement that Washington would remain vigilant in the face of the underground detonation by the Stalinist state and steadfast in its defense commitments to its allies in Asia.

"These provocations do not make North Korea more secure," Obama said.

"Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery." Obama complained that the test was a "highly provocative act" that -- following the North's December 12 ballistic missile launch -- undermined regional stability and violated UN Security Council resolutions.

"The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community," Obama said, ahead of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council called for later on Tuesday.

"The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies," Obama said.

Russia condemns North Korea nuclear test: report

Russia on Tuesday condemned North Korea's new nuclear test, saying Moscow considered it a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, the Interfax news agency reported.

"We condemn these actions by North Korea and see them, along with the recent ballistic rocket satellite launch, as a violation of corresponding UN Security Council resolutions," a foreign ministry source told the agency.

Britain calls for 'robust response' to N. Korea test

Britain on Tuesday called for a "robust response" from the UN Security Council after North Korea announced that it had staged its most powerful nuclear test yet.

"The UK will begin urgent consultations with Security Council partners calling for a robust response to this latest development," the Foreign Office said in a statement.

N. Korea nuclear test 'grave threat to Japan': PM

North Korea's nuclear test is a 'grave threat' to Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday, hours after Pyongyang confirmed it had successfully detonated an atomic device.

"(The test) is a grave threat to the safety of our country and a serious challenge against the global framework of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation," Abe said in a statement, adding it "cannot be tolerated".