President Obama panned North Korea’s most recent nuclear test as a “highly provocative act” following the Dec. 12 ballistic missile launch that “undermines regional stability, violates North Korea’s obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation.”
“North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region,” Obama said in a statement.
He didn’t outline what the specific reaction by the U.S. would be.
“The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community,” Obama said. “The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies. We will strengthen close coordination with allies and partners and work with our Six-Party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other UN member states to pursue firm action.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said the latest provocation is a warning call for the administration to “replace its failed North Korea policy with one that is energetic, creative, and focused on crippling the Kim regime’s military capabilities through stringent sanctions that tackle its illicit activities and cuts off its flow of hard currency.”
“Otherwise, the grave North Korean threat to the region and the United States will only grow,” he said.
Royce added that the test comes “just weeks after the North Korean regime stated its goal is to develop a missile to strike the United States and mere days after it produced an outrageous video of a missile attack on New York City.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said the test “demands a firm response by the international community.”
“North Korea must understand that its actions have consequences, and I intend to introduce legislation to condemn this act, call upon the international community to take action so that North Korea pays a price for its continued reckless behavior, and for the United States to take appropriate steps to safeguard our interests and those of our allies and partners,” he said.
“It is also unfortunate that on the same day the President of the United States plans to announce further reductions in U.S. nuclear weapons, we see another hostile regime unimpressed by his example,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said. “U.S. security cannot, in the face of the President’s sequester and $500 billion in reductions to the DOD budget so far, afford even more cuts to U.S. defense capabilities, such as our nuclear deterrent.”