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North Korea Claims Nuclear Test

The government of North Korea says that it has conducted a nuclear test. President George W. Bush says the U.S. and others are "working to confirm North Korea's claim":

"Nonetheless, such a claim itself constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The United States condemns this provocative act. Once again North Korea has defied the will of the international community, and the international community will respond."

The North Korean announcement comes despite passage in July of United Nations Security Council resolution sixteen ninety-five condemning North Korea for a series of missile launches. The resolution also called on North Korea not to engage in any further provocative actions and to rejoin the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. In September 2005 the North Korean regime pledged during six-party talks with the U.S., China, Japan, Russia and South Korea, that it will abandon all of its nuclear weapons and existing programs. In return, the other parties agreed to offer North Korea incentives including security provisions, economic, and energy assistance.

President Bush says, "The proclaimed actions taken by North Korea are unacceptable and deserve an immediate response by the [U-N] Security Council":

"The North Korean regime remains one of the world's leading proliferators of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria. The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States and we would hold North Korea fully accountable for the consequences of such action."

North Korea's claim "serves only to raise tensions, while depriving the North Korean people of the increased prosperity and better relations with the world offered by the implementation of the joint statement of the six-party talks," says Mr. Bush. He says, "The oppressed and impoverished people of North Korea deserve that brighter future."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.