Condemning North Korea for carrying out its biggest ever nuclear test, India on Sunday called on the reclusive nation to refrain from actions which adversly affect peace and stability in the Korean peninsula. “We call upon North Korea to refrain from such actions which adversely impact peace and stability in the region and beyond,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. It also stated that North Korea’s actions are a matter of deep concern as it has once again violated its international commitments.
“India also remains concerned about the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies which has adversely impacted India’s national security,” the statement added.
Earlier in the day, North Korea claimed it had successfully carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and also announced that it was an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile. An elated television newsreader hailed the “unprecedentedly large” blast as Pyongyang residents threw their arms aloft in truimph. The nuclear test sparked international condemnation, including from US President Donald Trump.
North Korea had threatened to launch missiles last month to hit the US Pacific territory of Guam after Trump had warned that Pyongyang would face “fire and fury” in the case of further threats. Last week, the East Asian country had fired a medium-range missile over Japan, which prompted Japanese government to warn residents to take cover.
Here’s how international community reacted to North Korea’s nuclear test
Describing North Korea as a “rogue nation”, US President Donald Trump said the reclusive nation is a “great threat and embarrassment” to China and warned that “appeasement” won’t work with Pyongyang. “North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success,” Trump said in a series of tweets. The US President also remarked that actions of the Kim Jong-un-led nation continue to be “very hostile and dangerous” to the US. Later, Trump said that the US is considering stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.
Reflecting on the development, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the National security team was monitoring the situation. Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that he would impose new sanctions to potentially cut off all North Korea’s global trade.
In strongly-worded statement, China slammed Pyongyang for ignoring international condemnation of its atomic weapons programme. “We strongly urge the DPRK (North Korea) to face the strong will of denuclearisation from the international community, earnestly abide by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, stop taking mistaken actions which worsen the situation and are also not in line with its own interests, and effectively return to the track of solving the problem through dialogue,” the Chinese foreign ministry said. China is North Korea’s main diplomatic ally and economic supporter. China is considered to be playing crucial role in efforts to get Pyongyang to curb its weapons programme.
Reacting to the development, Russia struck a cautious tone. “In the emerging conditions it is absolutely essential to keep cool, refrain from any actions that could lead to a further escalation of tensions,” Russia’s foreign ministry said. It also added that North Korea has risked “serious consequences”. Later in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in China on the sidelines of the BRICS summit where they agreed to “appropriately deal with” the crisis, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua. “The two leaders agreed to stick to the goal of denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and keep close communication and coordination to deal with the new situation,” Xinhua said.
French President Emmanuel Macron demanded a “very firm” response by the international community after North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb. “The international community must be very firm in its handling of this latest provocation, in order to get North Korea to unconditionally return to talks and proceed with the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear and ballistic programmes,” Macron said in a statement. He also called upon the UN Security Council to “quickly react” to the escalation and also urged the European Union to come up with a “clear and united” response.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel along with French President Macron jointly condemned North Korea’s nuclear test to date and called for tougher sanctions against Pyongyang. “This latest provocation by the ruler in Pyongyang has reached a new dimension,” said the German government. Merkel and Macron agreed that North Korea was violating international law and that the international community must react decisively to this new escalation. “In addition to the United Nations Security Council, the European Union also has to act now. The Chancellor and the President expressed their support for a tightening of EU sanctions against North Korea,” the statement said.
In the wake of the nuclear test by North Korea, British PM Theresa May said the UN Security Council should urgently look at new measures. Meanwhile, Britain’s foreign minister Boris Johnson said: “They (North Korea) seem to be moving closer towards a hydrogen bomb which, if fitted to a successful missile, would unquestionably present a new order of threat,” adding that there were no palatable military solutions.
(With inputs from agencies)