North Korea Conducts Third Nuclear Test, Upsets U.N.
February 12, 2013 6:23 PM
Even its ally, China, is upset with the country
North Korea performed its third
nuclear test today
, saying that it was an act of self-defense against the United States.
According to North Korea's Foreign Ministry, today's test was the first response with maximum restraint.
"If the United States continues to come out with hostility and complicates the situation, we will be forced to take stronger, second and third responses in consecutive steps," North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
North Korea is one of the most sanctioned states for its previous nuclear tests, but after today, the U.S. and its allies plan on "augmenting" these sanctions.
"The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community" said U.S. President Barack Obama. "The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies."
North Korea has said in the past that Washington's aim was to "
eliminate the political ideology and system our people have opted for."
According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, today's nuclear test measured "approximately several kilotons" while the first North Korean nuclear test in 2006 was under 1 kiloton and the second in 2009 was about 2-7 kilotons.
At first glance, U.S. security officials said the test seemed to use a plutonium-based prototype weapon (as did the previous two tests, but this was the latest version). More samples would have to be collected with the United States' WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft to determine if uranium was used.
North Korea's actions today has drawn criticism from many member states of the United Nations. The U.S., Japan, Russia, South Korea and China are a few that have denounced the test and urged North Korea to talks. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe even said that this test was a "grave threat."
China is especially upset by the test, since it is a permanent member of the Security Council and North Korea's main economic and diplomatic ally. North Korea's defiance just goes to show that Beijing doesn't have the power or influence it thinks it has with the country.
In December 2012, North Korea also successfully
tested an intercontinental missile
, drawing more international criticism. Earlier in 2012, North Korea said
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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