North Korea's nuclear test: The United States

Obama warns of 'serious consequences'

US President Barack Obama speaks at a press conference at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. PHOTO: AFP
US President Barack Obama speaks at a press conference at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON • United States President Barack Obama warned North Korea of "serious consequences" as the international community condemned in unison Pyongyang's latest nuclear test.

"The President indicated he would continue to consult our allies and partners in the days ahead to ensure provocative actions from North Korea are met with serious consequences," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The White House stopped short of calling it a nuclear test, referring to "reported seismic activity" near a known North Korean nuclear test site. Mr Obama was briefed on the situation as he flew home from a trip to Asia aboard Air Force One, Mr Earnest said.

Mr Obama also consulted with South Korean President Park Geun Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in separate phone calls.

"The President reiterated the unbreakable US commitment to the security of our allies in Asia and around the world," Mr Earnest said.

Russia said North Korea's act threatened peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in the Pacific region, and urged Pyongyang to fully give up its missile and nuclear programmes.

"We insist that the North Korean side stop its dangerous escapades and unconditionally implement all resolutions of the United Nations Security Council," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Russia is part of the so-called "six-party talks" that also involve the two Koreas, the US, Japan and China, which hosts the meetings. The talks, which have been suspended since 2009, are aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear programme through negotiations.

In London, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain "would consult with international partners on a robust response".

Joining in the chorus of condemnation were French President Francois Hollande and Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg. A German government spokesman said Bonn would summon the North Korean ambassador.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2016, with the headline 'Obama warns of 'serious consequences''. Print Edition | Subscribe