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North Korea Tests International Patience

North Korea Tests International Patience
North Korea Tests International Patience

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The United Nations Security Council stated that it condemned and opposed North Korea's announced nuclear test on May 25th. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called North Korea's action "a clear and grave violation of resolutions of the United Nations Security Council." North Korea reportedly test-fired an additional short range missile after the Security Council's condemnation.

President Barack Obama issued a statement deploring North Korea's provocative conduct. "It appears to also have attempted a short range missile launch," said President Obama. "These actions, while not a surprise given its statements and actions to date, are a matter of grave concern to all nations," said President Obama. "North Korea's attempts to develop weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security."

North Korea conducted a nuclear test in October 2006. In April of this year, North Korea conducted a ballistic missile launch that drew strong international criticism. It is difficult to reconcile North Korea's actions with its agreement in September 2005 with the United States, China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia aimed at the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The United States has consistently supported the Six-Party Talks as the best way to deal with the challenge of North Korea's nuclear program and with the other issues that are part of North Korea's agenda. Constructive talks, not provocative action, would best serve North Korea's interests.

"By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council, North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community," said President Obama. "North Korea's behavior increases tensions and undermines stability in Northeast Asia," he said. The U.S. President said North Korea "will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery."

For its part, said President Obama, the United States has been and will continue working with its allies and partners in the Six-Party Talks as well as other members of the United Nations Security Council in the days ahead.