After North Korea announced on Sunday that it successfully conducted a test of an extraordinarily powerful hydrogen bomb meant to be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), condemnation came down from world leaders swiftly and firmly.
A newsreader for North Korean state-run television announced the test, saying it was ordered by Kim Jong Un. The broadcaster called it a “complete success,” adding that the “two-stage thermonuclear weapon” had “unprecedented” strength.
President Donald Trump commented on North Korea’s continuing “hostile and dangerous” actions toward the U.S., calling it a “great threat and embarrassment to China.” He added that South Korea’s “talk of appeasement” with its northern neighbor won’t work.
Hours after these comments were made, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that he’ll be drafting a new sanctions package against North Korea, which could go so far as to cut off all U.S. trade with any country that chooses to do business with North Korea.
On Sunday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has once again conducted a nuclear test in spite of widespread opposition from the international community. The Chinese government resolutely opposes and strongly condemns it.”
South Korea’s National Security Director Chung Eui-yong said Sunday that in reaction to the test, President Moon Jae-in will seek every available diplomatic measure, including new sanctions from the United Nations Security Council. He says Moon will also discuss with Washington ways to deploy the “strongest strategic assets” the U.S. has to completely isolate Pyongyang.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday that North Korea’s nuclear test “deserves absolute condemnation,” adding that immediate dialogue and negotiations are necessary. It says that’s the only way settle the Korean Peninsula’s problems, “including the nuclear problem.”
The statement continued, “This yet another example of Pyongyang’s outright disregard of the demands of respective UN Security Council resolutions and international law deserves absolute condemnation.” The ministry said Russia is willing to participate in negotiations, “including in the context of the implementing of the Russian-Chinese road map.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement he “calls on the members of the United Nations Security Council to quickly react to this new violation by North Korea of international law.”
Macron continued, “The international community must treat this new provocation with the utmost firmness, in order to bring North Korea to come back unconditionally to the path of dialogue and to proceed to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear and ballistic program.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday called for new sanctions against North Korea. “This latest action by North Korea is reckless and poses an unacceptable further threat to the international community,” she said.
Prior to North Korea’s announcement, Japan confirmed that the rogue nation conducted a nuclear test. “It is absolutely unacceptable if North Korea did force another nuclear test, and we must protest strongly,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
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