Last Tuesday, the UN Security Council condemned North Korea’s missile tests in the general direction of Japan and threatened “further significant measures” if the actions continued.
Today, North Korea launched its largest nuclear test to date, which was followed by a 5.3 earthquake near the site. The UN has scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss further measures. According to British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, “the U.K. will be pushing for as robust and speedy a response as possible.”
He said three things would count as “further significant measures” and Britain will pursue a combination of all three — strong implementation of existing sanctions, additional names added to the sanctions blacklist, and a strengthening of sanctions.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the international community must “redouble the pressure” on North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
When asked whether U.S. military action against North Korea is now on the table, he did not answer directly. He said the test “and other provocations” strengthen U.S. resolve to defend itself and its allies. He noted U.S. plans to deploy new, more capable missile defenses in South Korea.
President Obama has also condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test. He said the U.S. “does not and never will” accept the country as a nuclear state.
Obama says he consulted by telephone with the leaders of South Korea and Japan after being informed of North Korea’s claim to have conducted a “higher level” nuclear test explosion on Friday.
Obama says the leaders agreed to work with the U.N. Security Council and the international community to implement existing punitive measures imposed on North Korea for prior instances of unlawful nuclear activity. He says additional “significant” steps, including new sanctions, are being considered.
North Korea, clearly, doesn’t care what the rest of the world thinks. Let’s leave it with this chilling tweet from Foreign Policy.