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International community strongly condemns N. Korea’s second nuke test

Washington/London, May 25 (ANI): US President Barack Obama on Monday led the world community in condemning North Korea’s second nuclear test in less than three years.

In a strong reaction to the conduct of the test, Obama described the North Korean action as a “threat to international peace” and said international action was called for.

“The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants action by the international community. We have been and will continue working with our allies and partners in the six-party talks as well as other members of the UN Security Council in the days ahead,” Obama said in his statement.

China and Russia also condemned the test, but called for a return to talks.

China said it was “resolutely opposed” to the test, while Russia called it “a blow to non-proliferation efforts”.

But both urged North Korea back to the negotiating table – with Russia saying six-party talks were the “only solution”.

Both countries are fearful of a destabilizing effect that military action or cutting off trade ties could have on their impoverished former protégée.

The UN Security Council said that it would issue a strong statement of condemnation on Monday.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “deeply disturbed” by reports of the test – which, if confirmed, he said would violate UN Security Council resolution 1718, which demands that North Korea refrain from nuclear testing.
A spokesman for South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said the test was “a provocation that can never be tolerated”.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said any nuclear test by the North would be “unacceptable”.

Both said they would ask for action from the UN Security Council.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the test “in the strongest terms” and said it would “undermine prospects for peace on the Korean peninsula”.

A number of external agencies confirmed an explosion, probably associated with a nuclear test, had taken place. It appeared to be a much more powerful blast than North Korea’s first nuclear test, in October 2006.

An official communiqué read out on North Korean state radio said another round of underground nuclear testing had been “successfully conducted… as part of measures to enhance the Republic’s self-defensive nuclear deterrent in all directions”.

An emergency session of the UN Security Council is being convened by Russia, which currently occupies the council’s rotating presidency.

Six-party disarmament talks involving the US, China, Japan, Russia and the two Koreas have stalled over Pyongyang’s failure to agree how information it has handed over on its nuclear activities and facilities should be verified.

Pyongyang pulled out of the talks last month, in protest against international condemnation of its rocket launch.

North Korea had previously agreed to dismantle its Yongbyon nuclear facility as part of an aid-for-disarmament deal and, in response, the US removed North Korea from its terrorism blacklist.

The North now believes it is no longer bound by its previous bilateral agreements with the US and agreements under the six-party talks. (ANI)

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