United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday condemned the nuclear test carried out by North Korea while the Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting on Monday at the request of five countries.
“This act is yet another serious breach of the DPRK’s (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s) international obligations and undermines international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts,” Guterres’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Sunday. “This act is also profoundly destabilizing for regional security.”
“The DPRK is the only country that continues to break the norm against nuclear test explosions,” he added.
The US, Japan, France, Britain, and South Korea requested the emergency Security Council meeting to be on Monday, the US mission announced Sunday afternoon.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron called for actions against Pyongyang by the Security Council and the European Union.
In the region, Australia and South Korea have released statements demanding even more stringent sanctions by the Security Council.
Any UN action against Pyogyang will hinge on its veto-powered patron China, which can block the Security Council from acting and has opposed stronger sanctions.
North Korea carried out a nuclear test on Sunday morning – its sixth and the most powerful so far.
The regime of dictator Kim Jong-un said the hydrogen bomb could be fitted on a missile.
North Korea has recently tested ballistic missiles that have the potential to reach major cities in the US. Last week Pyongyang sent a ballistic missile over Japan.
The UN Security Council has repeatedly condemned North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes, and on August 5 tightened sanctions banning exports of coal, iron, iron ore, seafood and lead, and prohibiting countries from hiring any more of that country’s citizens.
(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected])aa