Reuters) - North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday in defiance
of existing U.N. resolutions, drawing condemnation from around the world,
including from its only major ally, China
, which summoned the North
Korean ambassador to protest.
The reclusive North said the test was an act of self-defense against "U.S.
hostility" and threatened further, stronger steps if necessary.
It 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 that it had again used plutonium which is more suitable for
use as a missile warhead.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the third of his line to rule the country,
has presided over two long-range rocket launches and a nuclear test during his
first year in power, pursuing policies that have propelled his impoverished and
malnourished country closer to becoming a nuclear weapons power.
China, which has shown signs of increasing exasperation with the recent
bellicose tone of its neighbor, summoned the North Korean ambassador in Beijing
and protested sternly, the Foreign Ministry said.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said China was "strongly dissatisfied and
resolutely opposed" to the test and urged North Korea to "stop any
rhetoric or acts that could worsen situations and return to the right course of
dialogue and consultation as soon as possible".
China is a permanent member of the Security Council.
U.S. President Barack Obama labeled the test a "highly provocative act" that
hurt regional stability and pressed for new sanctions.
"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," Obama
said in a statement.
Edited by india100 - Feb 12 2013 at 8:13am