Security Council scrambles over N. Korea nuclear test

North Korea conducted a third nuclear weapons test Tuesday in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions aimed at preventing the country from developing nuclear technology.

Reuters reported that, with the international community strongly condemning the launch, the Security Council will meet in an emergency Tuesday morning session to discuss further sanctions. Consider, though, that North Korea is already what Reuters called one of the “most heavily sanctioned states on earth.”

“The U.S. Geological Survey said that a seismic event measuring 5.1 magnitude had occurred on Tuesday, with North Korea later confirming the nuclear test,” Reuters reported.

South Korea said the size of the seismic activity indicated a nuclear explosion slightly larger than the North’s two previous tests at 6-7 kilotons,” the article said. For perspective, the news service estimated the Hiroshima bomb at “around 20 kilotons.”

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moo called North Korea’s nuclear test a “‘clear and grave violation’ of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” and President Obama called it a “highly provocative act.”

Reuters published this statement, issued by Obama early Tuesday morning:

The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies.

We will strengthen close coordination with allies and partners and work with our Six-Party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other UN member states to pursue firm action.

According to the article, the “Six-Party partners” — China, the United States, North and South Korea, Japan and Russia — will hold talks “aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear program.”

Read more from Reuters here and here.


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