North Korea announced today that it conducted a third nuclear test. This is a highly provocative act that, following its December 12 ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates North Korea’s obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation. North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region.
These provocations do not make North Korea more secure. Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies. We will strengthen close coordination with allies and partners and work with our Six-Party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other UN member states to pursue firm action.
Chinese leaders have spent recent weeks trying strenuously to dissuade Pyongyang from the nuclear test, according to Western diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity. Their failure to do so points to growing exasperation in Beijing with North Korean leader Kim Jong Eun and reflects a deteriorated relationship between the two countries that could have global consequences, the diplomats said.
For years, diplomats and experts have thought that if anyone could persuade North Korea of anything, it was the Chinese. Long seen as a key factor in propping up the regime in Pyongyang, China has come under considerable international pressure to use its influence to push North Korea toward denuclearization and away from provocations.
News that North Korean conducted another nuclear test proves that the West’s approach to states unwilling to curb their nuclear ambitions has failed, Yair Shamir, an incoming Knesset member from Yisrael Beytenu who is likely to hold a senior position in the next government, said Tuesday.Attempts to find compromise with the likes of North Korea and Iran were simply being exploited by those countries, Shamir told The Times of Israel.
“The nuclear test in North Korea this morning just emphasized that if the West will continue to look for compromise instead of looking for solutions, then those guys who are dealing with the West will take advantage of it,” he said. “Look at North Korea, they don’t give a sh*t. They’re doing what they want. And the Iranians will look at that as well.”