Despite U.N. resolutions barring it from doing so, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday. The volatile nation said that the test was an act of self-defense against “U.S. hostility” and that, if necessary, it would take stronger steps in the future.
According to Reuters, Tuesday’s test drew condemnation from countries all over the globe, including from North Korea’s lone major supporter, China.
During his first year in power, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has presided over two long-range rocket launches and a nuclear test. The most recent test was reported to have had “greater explosive force” than tests which were conducted in 2006 and 2009. After news of the test surfaced, Chinese officials summoned the North Korean ambassador in Beijing to express their displeasure.
According to Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, China was “strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed” to the test. The foreign minister urged North Korea to “stop any rhetoric or acts that could worsen situations and return to the right course of dialogue and consultation as soon as possible.”
U.S. President Barack Obama was also very critical of North Korea’s decision to ignore U.N. sanctions and go ahead with the nuclear test. Obama said in a statement: “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.”
The U.N. Security Council will meet later on today to discuss how it wants to react to this latest development. North Korea is already one of the most heavily sanctioned countries in the world and most of its few external economic links have already been targeted in past punishments.
The test comes on the heels of North Korea releasing a video last week depicting a city which appeared to be New York City in ruins after a missile attack. North Korea often threatens the United States with destruction in colorful terms.
“If the United States continues to come out with hostility and complicates the situation, we will be forced to take stronger, second and third responses in consecutive steps,” an unnamed spokesman for North Korean Foreign Ministry said.