News / Asia

UN Security Council Condemns N. Korea Nuclear Test

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks to the media at the U.N. headquarters in New York, February 12, 2013.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks to the media at the U.N. headquarters in New York, February 12, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The U.N. Security Council has condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test and said it will begin work immediately on “appropriate measures” in the form of a council resolution. 

Pyongyang confirmed that it carried out its third nuclear test Tuesday. The move defies several U.N. Security Council resolutions and brought quick condemnation from the United States, South Korea, China and other nations. 

South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, whose country holds the rotating Security Council presidency this month, was at the U.N. Tuesday to chair another council meeting. He told reporters after an early morning emergency session on the nuclear test that Pyongyang’s recent long-range missile launches pose a direct challenge to the international community and an unacceptable threat to peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in northeast Asia.

“North Korea will be held responsible for any consequences of this provocative act," Kim said. He added his government would work closely with other nations to see “all necessary measures” imposed to have North Korea abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Location of the nuclear test site in North KoreaLocation of the nuclear test site in North Korea
Location of the nuclear test site in North Korea
Location of the nuclear test site in North Korea
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters that the United States and its partners will be discussing the tightening and enhancing of what she characterized as an already “quite strong” sanctions regime against North Korea. She added that they would be interested to see if this third test differs from the two previous ones in its level of success or the quality of the test.

“Whatever the outcome, however, the international community, this council, has been quite clear:  The actions of North Korea are a threat to regional peace and security, international peace and security and they are not acceptable, they will not be tolerated, and they will be met with North Korea’s increasing isolation and pressure under United Nations sanctions," said Rice.

  • An extra edition of a Japanese newspaper was delivered reporting North Korea's nuclear test, in Tokyo, February 12, 2013.
  • South Korean protesters burn a North Korean flag following a report of the nuclear test conducted by North Korea, in Seoul, South Korea, February 12, 2013.
  • Japan Meteorological Agency's earthquake and tsunami observations division director Akira Nagai points to a spot on the map showing the quake center during a news conference in Tokyo, February 12, 2013.
  • South Korean soldiers check military fences as they patrol near the demilitarized zone separating North Korea from South Korea, in Paju, north of Seoul, February 12, 2013.
  • A screen grab of the Nuclear Test Facility site in North Korea, via Google Maps satellite view.
  • South Korean soldiers monitor computers at the Seoul train station following a report about a possible nuclear test conducted by North Korea, February 12, 2013.
  • A video grab from KCNA shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket launching at North Korea's West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at the satellite control center in Cholsan county, North Pyongang province December 12, 2012.
  • North Koreans celebrate the successful launch of the Unha-3 rocket at Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang December 14, 2012. The sign reads: "Let's glorify dignity and honor of great people of Kim Il Sung and of Korea of Kim Jong Il in the world!"

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, himself a former South Korean foreign minister, called Pyongyang’s test “appalling” and “reckless” and said it shows outright disregard for the repeated call of the international community for North Korea to refrain from further provocative measures.

“The DPRK is the only country that has carried out nuclear tests in the 21st century," he said. "The authorities in Pyongyang should not be under any illusion that nuclear weapons will enhance their security. To the contrary, as Pyongyang pursues nuclear weapons, it will suffer only greater insecurity and isolation.”

In Beijing, the foreign ministry summoned the North Korean ambassador to protest the development.

Related story by Jeff Custer

Global Leaders Condemn North Korea's Latest Nuclear Testi
February 12, 2013 6:23 PM
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the move as "deeply destabilizing." He said it is a "clear and grave violation" of sanctions banning Pyongyang from nuclear and missile tests. VOA's Jeff Custer has more.

The Vienna-based agency that monitors the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty said Tuesday’s test blast was nearly twice as large as the 2009 nuclear test and much larger than the one in 2006.

Security Council members will now begin drafting a resolution that will likely include new sanctions against the impoverished nation. But how tough they will be will depend largely on what North Korea’s veto-wielding ally, China, is willing to accept.

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Comment Sorting
by: A. Thunborg, CTBTO
February 13, 2013 8:03 AM
Just to clarify: The magnitude of the seismic event that the CTBTO registered in North Korea at 2.57.51 (UTC) on 12 February 2013 is roughly twice as large as the 2009 DPRK nuclear test. It measured 5.0 whereas in 2009 it was 4.52. The magnitude is not the same as the yield or blast of a declared nuclear explosion.

by: Nohu
February 12, 2013 9:43 PM
The worst thing is there are many nuclear weapons in the world.
America also posses nuclear arms, China, France, England, Russia and so on also have. Why these country can prohibit other country from having nuclear weapon. There is no logic to "peace" that nuclear nation mentioned to. Why these country possess nuclear weapon? I can't understand. Maybe there are many political and selfish reason for country's power. But I don't care. The best solution is all of the country abandon nuclear weapon. It might be too much too say, but true, even young children could understand.
So there is no meaning Nuclear country forbid N. Korea from testing and making nuclear weapon, as a logical meaning.
Of course test of nuclear weapon must not be hold.
We have to think about this seriously for our future.
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
February 14, 2013 1:17 AM
I agree with you. I really hope Obama succeeds in contracting US nuclear weapons and follow Russia, Chine, Britain and France.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
February 12, 2013 3:43 PM
The UN Security Council may pass resolutions after resolutions condemning DPRK. The six nation talks may go on and off for ever. The US may have one on one talks with North Korea indefinitely. The economic sanctions againt North Korea may be tightened. The defense of South Korea and Japan may be beefed up. South Korea may have ministers for the unification of North and South Korea. President Obama of the U.S. may condemn North Korea for testing nuclear bomb. The US may have naval exercises with South Korea and Japan near North Korea.

But, nothing will pacify the hereditory communist dictator of North Korea, unless its only allay, the communist China stop all economic, trade, political and military association with North Korea. China is not willing to undertake these measures because China is not much different ideologicallyfrom North Korea, one selected communist dictatorship and the other one is hereditory communist dictatorship.

It is time for the UN members to embargo all trade with North Korea and the countries that defy the UN embargo are also embargoed by other nations. All food supply in the name of humanitarian assistance should be stopped for the awakening of common sense in North Korea and its deranged and hallucinating dictator.. The time is running out for the UN, the US and the neighboring countries to stop nuclerr WMD in North Korea, if urgent actions are not taken against that rogue nation.

Surprise strikes at the Iranian nuclear facilities are planned by Israel and perhaps the US. There is no nation to consider such drastic action in North Korea, even though North Korea is far ahead of Iran in developing nuclear bomb and the delivery system that could reach any nation including the US.

It appears that attacks on the nuclear facilities of North Korea and Iran are the only solution for the nuclear threats of these deranged dictatorships and for world peace. Unless these two rogue nations are restrained in their nuclear arms ambitions now, the world will pay a heavy price for peace at a later date.

by: Anonymous
February 12, 2013 2:53 PM
Nobody has interests in going in and taking over N Korea, or being a threat to N Korea. But as long as they are developing a nuclear arsenal that isn't needed this day and age, then most certainly there is an interest in disabling them. The world would be great if it was just peaceful. NKorea is just creating more enemies by pursuing nuclear ambitions.

by: Michael From Serattle from: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexic
February 12, 2013 1:18 PM
With "friends" such as China, North Korea doesn't need enemies.

by: Jennie PC Chiang from: Boyertown PA
February 12, 2013 1:15 PM
More Obama administration threatens to take more action to penalize North Korea through the United Nations. North Korea warned the United States to take any UN Security Council action will be regarded as the regime's hostility. We pledge of more UN Security Council action and North Korea does more nuclear test. I do not think if it isn’t our best interest to adding fuel to the fire by doing more sanctions. It does not deter North Korea from pursuing its nuclear weapons program if Washington remains hostile. We should change our tactic and should talk to North Korea directly to resolve the Korean nuclear crisis.
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 12, 2013 2:49 PM
Could take that approach, invite Kim Jong-un to the USA for free Lakers tickets. Show him what the USA has to offer him. The world doesn't need enemies, it needs to unite hand in hand.

by: Anonymous
February 12, 2013 12:08 PM
Hate to say it but there is no better time than now to slap their hand, and slap it hard.They are advertising their military by doing tests like this, so this may be the best way to deal with them, militarily. I can't believe Russia and China doesn't want to slap them either. Slap them now before it is too late.

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