‘H-bomb of jus­tice’ raises UN’s ire

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil pledged Wed­nes­day to swiftly pursue new sanc­tions against North Korea, strongly con­demn­ing its lat­est nu­clear test as a “clear vi­o­la­tion” of pre­vi­ous UN res­o­lu­tions.

North Korea trum­peted its first hy­dro­gen bomb test — a self-pro­claimed “H-bomb of jus­tice” that would mark a ma­jor and unan­tic­i­pated ad­vance for its still-lim­ited nu­clear arse­nal.

The an­nounce­ment Wed­nes­day was met with wide­spread skep­ti­cism, as well as a strong con­dem­na­tion of the de­fi­ant, im­pov­er­ished coun­try.

North Korea’s fourth nu­clear test likely pushed its sci­en­tists and en­gi­neers closer to their goal of build­ing a war­head small enough to place on a mis­sile that can reach the U.S. main­land. But South Korea’s spy agency thought the es­ti­mated ex­plo­sive yield from the blast was much smaller than what even a failed hy­dro­gen bomb det­o­na­tion would pro­duce.

There was a burst of ju­bi­la­tion and pride in Py­ongyang. A North Korean TV an­chor said the test of a “minia­tur­ized” hy­dro­gen bomb had been a “per­fect suc­cess” that el­e­vated the coun­try’s “nu­clear might to the next level.”

The UN sanc­tions would be the fifth round im­posed on North Korea since the coun­try’s first nu­clear test in 2006.

The sanc­tions are aimed at rein­ing in the North’s nu­clear and mis­sile de­vel­op­ment, but Py­ongyang has ig­nored them and moved ahead with pro­grams to mod­ern­ize its bal­lis­tic mis­siles and nu­clear weapons.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil held an emer­gency meet­ing af­ter North Korea an­nounced its first hy­dro­gen bomb test, which would mark a ma­jor ad­vance for its still-lim­ited nu­clear arse­nal.

The an­nounce­ment was met with skep­ti­cism, how­ever, with South Korea’s spy agency say­ing the es­ti­mated ex­plo­sive yield from the explosion was much smaller than what even a failed H-bomb det­o­na­tion would pro­duce.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil said North Korea’s ac­tions were a “clear vi­o­la­tion” of the four pre­vi­ous sanc­tions res­o­lu­tions “and there­fore a clear threat to in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity con­tin­ues to ex­ist.”

The UN’s most pow­er­ful body said it had pledged to take “fur­ther sig­nif­i­cant mea­sures” — UN code for sanc­tions — in the event of an­other test and would be­gin work im­me­di­ately on a new sanc­tions res­o­lu­tion in light of “the grav­ity of this vi­o­la­tion.”

Bri­tish Am­bas­sador Matthew Ry­croft said the test is an­other ex­am­ple of Py­ongyang’s “reck­less chal­lenge to in­ter­na­tional norms of be­hav­iour and the author­ity of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.”

UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki­moon, a for­mer South Korean for­eign min­is­ter, called North Korea’s an­nounce­ment “pro­foundly desta­bi­liz­ing for re­gional se­cu­rity.” Ban de­manded that Py­ongyang cease any fur­ther nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties.

AP PHOTO

North Kore­ans re­act as they watch a news broad­cast on a video screen out­side Py­ongyang Rail­way Sta­tion in Py­ongyang, North Korea, Wed­nes­day.

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