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North Korea's Third Nuclear Test


A screen at the General Satellite Control and Command Center shows the moment North Korea's Unha-3 rocket is launched in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. North Korea announced on February 12 that it had conducted its third nuclear test.

North Korea will find neither security nor prosperity in nuclear weapons or missiles.

North Korea announced on February 12 that it had conducted its third nuclear test. "This is a highly provocative act," said President Barack Obama, "that following its December 12th ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates North Korea's obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19th, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation."


North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs are a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security, said President Obama. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in its defense commitments to allies in the region. The United States remains committed to the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state.

President Obama stressed that "these provocations do not make North Korea more secure. Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery." North Korea will find neither security nor prosperity in nuclear weapons or missiles.

The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities shows a blatant disregard for international norms of behavior and calls for swift and credible action by the international community. The United Nations Security Council clearly stated in Resolution 2087 its determination to take "significant action" in the event of a further launch using ballistic missile technology or nuclear test.

Hours after North Korea’s announcement, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan Rice said, "the United Nations Security Council must and will deliver a swift, credible, and strong response by way of a Security Council resolution that further impedes the growth of [North Korea's] nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and its ability to engage in proliferation activities."

"We will strengthen close coordination with allies and partners," said President Obama, "and work with our Six-Party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other U.N. member states to pursue firm action."
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