Obama: North Korea Nuclear Test Demands ‘Serious Consequences’
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — North Korea confirmed its fifth nuclear test early Friday, in another provocation that brought instant condemnation from the country’s neighbors.
“We successfully conducted a nuclear explosion test to determine the power of [the] nuclear warhead,” a female anchor announced on state television. “We will continue to strengthen our nuclear capabilities to protect our sovereignty. We have now standardized and minimized nuclear warheads … We can now produce small nuclear warheads any time we desire.”
— IAEA (@iaeaorg) September 9, 2016
The United States Geological Survey registered a magnitude 5.3 explosion “near the location where North Korea has detonated nuclear explosions in the past.”
“We are aware of seismic activity on the Korean Peninsula in the vicinity of a known North Korean nuclear test site,” said National Security Council Spokesperson Ned Price. “We are monitoring and continuing to assess the situation in close coordination with our regional partners.”
“Today’s nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, if confirmed, is its second this year and the fifth since 2006,” said International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano. “This is in clear violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions and in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community. It is a deeply troubling and regrettable act.”
North Korea has previously conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, 2013, and most recently in January 2016.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the explosion an act of “fanatic recklessness.”
The White House said National Security Adviser Susan Rice briefed President Obama on the incident.
“The President also consulted with President Park of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Abe of Japan in separate phone calls,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told ABC News. “The President reiterated the unbreakable US commitment to the security of our allies in Asia and around the world. The President indicated he would continue to consult our allies and partners in the days ahead to ensure provocative actions from North Korea are met with serious consequences.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the test explosion “could not be tolerated.”
The State Department also told ABC News it was aware of the explosion.
“We are aware of seismic activity on the Korean Peninsula in the vicinity of a known North Korean nuclear test site,” said State Department Spokesman John Kirby. “We are monitoring and continuing to assess the situation in close coordination with our regional partners. The Secretary has been briefed on this incident.” ?
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