Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop has condemned the North Korean regime as ‘provocative and dangerous’ following its detonation of a nuclear bomb.
“Today’s nuclear test confirms North Korea’s status as a rogue state and a continuing threat to international peace and security,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
She said Australia would make its concerns known directly to the North Korean government and would work to strengthen sanctions aimed at reducing funding to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs.
My statement condemning North Korea’s actions & claim to have detonated a nuclear bomb https://t.co/z3gDPdx1db
— Julie Bishop (@JulieBishopMP) January 6, 2016
Ms. Bishop also emphasized North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons threatens “the peace and security of Australia’s friends and partners in our region and beyond.”
DPRK science awes lesser nations in successful detonation of 250 megaton hydrogen bomb. 10,000 years of life to Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un!
— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) January 6, 2016
North Korea confirmed the test on state television, a newsreader saying ‘the republic’s first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00 am on January 6, 2016, based on the strategic determination of the Workers’ Party.’
“With the perfect success of our historic H-bomb, we have joined the rank of advanced nuclear states,” the announcer added, claiming the test was of a ‘miniaturised’ device.
If the claim is confirmed it would mark a major, and alarming, step forward in the isolated country’s nuclear development, as hydrogen bombs are generally more powerful than nuclear bombs. A hydrogen, or thermonuclear device, uses fusion in a chain reaction that causes a much more powerful explosion than the fission blast generated by uranium or plutonium.
After the test, South Korea’s defence ministry said its armed forces would step up their monitoring of the North, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it was a ‘serious threat’ to his country and a ‘grave challenge’ to nuclear non-proliferation efforts.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called North Korea’s fourth nuclear test ‘deeply troubling’ and ‘profoundly destabilising for regional security’, while diplomats said the Security Council would have to consider new sanctions steps.
“This test once again violates numerous Security Council resolutions despite the united call by the international community to cease such activities,” the United Nations chief told reporters on Wednesday.
“It is also a grave contravention of the international norm against nuclear testing.”
“I demand the DPRK (North Korea) cease any further nuclear activities and meet its obligations for verifiable denuclearisation,” he said.