Tue | Jan 23, 2018

North Korea condemned for nuke test

Published:Monday | September 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida of Japan (center) speaks during a meeting between leaders from Japan, South Korea and Japan yesterday, in New York.


The United States, Japan and South Korea yesterday roundly condemned North Korea's recent nuclear test and called for tough new measures to further isolate the communist state.

Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, US. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers said the North Korean test earlier this month would not go unanswered. The test was North Korea's fifth and, along with recent ballistic missile launches, has been widely criticised as destabilising to regional and international security.

Kerry said the US remained deeply committed to its mutual defense obligations with Japan and South Korea and would not shirk in "rolling back the provocative, reckless behaviour of" North Korea.

He said the US, Japan, South Korea and others would "make it clear to a reckless dictator that all he is doing through his actions is isolating his country, isolating his people and depriving his people of genuine economic opportunity."

"The global community will not be intimidated and will not pull back from our obligations," Kerry said. He called for North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un to freeze Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs immediately and return to denuclearisation talks.

The South Korean foreign minister, Yun Byung-se, echoed Kerry's comments, calling North Korea's missile and nuclear tests a "ticking time bomb" and a threat to world safety. "What we see is a looming perfect storm that may not only pounce on Northeast Asia but sweep over the entire world," he said.