Category: World / February 12, 2013 3:11 PM EST
The United Nations Security Council "strongly condemned" North Korea's third nuclear test on Tuesday (February 12) and vowed to take action against Pyongyang, the president of the Security Council said.
"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned this test, which is a grave violation of Security Council resolutions," South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, whose country is president of the council this month, told reporters. He said the council would now consider appropriate measures.
North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the nuclear test on Tuesday was an act of self-defense in response to hostility from the United States and that it will take stronger follow-up actions if Washington keeps up its belligerence.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said that Washington and its allies intended to augment the sanctions regime already in place due to Pyongyang's 2006 and 2009 atomic tests.
"U.N. Security Council must and will deliver a swift, credible and strong response by way of a Security Council resolution that further impedes the growth of DPRK's (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and its ability to engage in proliferation activities," said Rice.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the council in an unrelated open session on Tuesday that North Korea's actions presented a "serious challenge to global efforts to curb nuclear proliferation".
"The DPRK is the only country that has carried out a nuclear test in the 21st Century. The authorities in Pyongyang should not be under any illusion that nuclear weapons will enhance their security. To the contrary, as Pyongyang pursues nuclear weapons, it will suffer only greater insecurity and isolation," added Ban.
North Korea said the test had "greater explosive force" than the 2006 and 2009 tests. Its KCNA news agency said it had used a "miniaturized" and lighter nuclear device, indicating it had again used plutonium, which is more suitable for use as a missile warhead.
Video Source: Reuters