- Title: VARIOUS: International community condemns reported North Korean nuclear test
- Date: 9th October 2006
- Summary: (W3) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA (RECENT) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR UN BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S U.N. AMBASSADOR EMYR JONES PARRY SAYING: "Prime Minister Blair has gone on record as condemning the irresponsibility of the North Korean government. I expect that my colleagues in the Council will want to discuss the implications of that now. And of course we will want to consider what actions the Council should take, bearing in mind the obligations that North Korea has itself understaken." PAINTING ON WALL (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S U.N. AMBASSADOR EMYR JONES PARRY SAYING: "We already said that were there to be a nuclear test it would be a threat to international peace and security. I think it follows that action under chapter 7 is what is appropriate. We'll have to look at what sort of measures can be agreed by the Council but certainly the United Kingdom would support proposals put down to that effect."
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- Story Text: U.S. president George W. Bush on Monday (October 9) called North Korea's claim it tested a nuclear weapon a provocative act that requires an immediate response from the UN Security Council.
"Last night the government of North Korea proclaimed to the world that it had conducted a nuclear test. We're working to confirm North Korea's claim. Nonetheless, such a claim itself constitutes a threat to international peace and security," Bush said in the Washington. "The United States condemns such a provocative act. Once again, North Korea has defied the will of the international community, and the international community will respond.
Bush said he spoke by phone to leaders of China, South Korea, Japan and Russia and all agreed the test was unacceptable.
The UN Security Council, after voting South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon as successor to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, went into closed consultations on North Korea's to see what action could be taken.
"We already said that were there to be a nuclear test it would be a threat to international peace and security. I think it follows that action under chapter 7 is what is appropriate. We'll have to look at what sort of measures can be agreed by the Council but certainly the United Kingdom would support proposals put down to that effect," said Britain's UN ambassador Emyr Jones Parry.
The council on Friday (October 6) urged North Korea not to carry out a test, warning Pyongyang of unspecified consequences if it did.
The EU and NATO also condemn strongly the nuclear tests of North Korea, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and NATO Secretary-General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer said in Brussels.
"It goes without saying that I can already now condemn this nuclear test in the strongest terms possible. It flies into the face of the international community who had asked not to do this. It is unacceptable, it is not only a threat to regional peace and security, it is a threat to world peace and security and will demand the strongest possible reaction from the international community," said Scheffer.
Solana added: "I like to say also that it is very bad news also for the people of North Korea. At the end of the day, the government of North Korea is spending lots of money for something that is not for the benefit of North Korea while the people of North Korea continue to starve. That is something that we have to say and say very clearly that the leaders of that country have absolutely upsided-down the principles if they really want to serve the people of North Korea."
The test threatens peace and North Korea should return to talks, Scheffer also added.
Russia also condemned North Korea's nuclear test but urged countries involved in negotiations on Pyongyang's atomic programme to show restraint in their reaction.
"Russia unconditionally condemns tests conducted by North Korea," Putin was shown on national television telling his top ministers gathered for a traditional weekly meeting.
"It's not only about Korea, it's about the huge damage which has been done to the process of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons."
Putin's remarks followed a milder statement by the foreign ministry, which demanded that North Korea immediately return to nuclear non-proliferation regime and restart international talks on its atomic programme.
"The Russian Foreign Ministry urges all governments involved in the current difficult situation to show restraint and patience," the ministry statement said.
Putin ordered the foreign ministry to start consultations on the North Korean test in the UN Security Council.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy was one of the first leaders in Europe to condemn the North Korean nuclear test.
"It is now up to the international community to react firmly to this action which poses a considerable problem in terms of international security. That's the reason why the international community must now deliberate at the Security Council to see how we should follow up on this matter," said Douste-Blazy.
"We are now going to meet with our partners in the Security Council to react to North Korea's nuclear test, which poses a considerable problem in terms of international security. Knowing that, the Security Council had already asked North Korea, on the 6th of October, not to perform such a test. Thank you," said Douste-Blazy.
South Korea's military ordered the army to step up a state of alert after Pyongyang announced its first-ever nuclear test, which brought unusual criticism from fellow communist China.
Pyongyang's move, which came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived for a visit to Seoul, could heighten regional tensions and may come as a new foreign policy blow to U.S. President George W. Bush ahead of mid-term elections.
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- Embargoed:24th October 2006 13:00