‘No one to benefit from war on Korean peninsula’: World reacts to N. Korea’s latest nuke test

FILE PHOTO © KCNA
Countries across the world have responded to North Korea’s fifth nuclear test, which Pyongyang confirmed earlier on Friday. Russia says the defiant nation must stop further tests and join the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Moscow accused Pyongyang of threatening the security of the Korean Peninsula and the entire region through its policies.

“We insist that North Korea stop its dangerous adventurism, abide by all resolutions of the UN Security Council, cease its nuclear missile programs and re-join the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We are very concerned about the test. UN Security Council resolutions must be observed,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin called for the Security Council to issue a unanimous condemnation of the test, but stopped short of advocating sanctions.

China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said that all international parties should exercise restraint, stressing that no country will benefit from chaos or war on the Korean peninsula.

It acknowledged that North Korea’s action was “not wise,” but also noted that Seoul’s recent decision to deploy an advanced US anti-missile system had also damaged stability in the region.

China’s foreign ministry later said in a statement that it is opposed to the North’s most recent nuclear test, while strongly urging Pyongyang to avoid taking any further action that could worsen the situation.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing would lodge a diplomatic protest with North Korea's embassy.

US President Barack Obama labeled the test a "grave threat," and called for new sanctions against Pyongyang. He reiterated Washington’s commitment to safeguarding the security of its allies in Asia and across the world, White House press secretary John Earnest said in a statement.

"To be clear, the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state," Obama said in a separate press release. Obama said he intends "to take additional significant steps, including new sanctions, to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions."

Seoul was also quick to respond to the nuclear test, with President Park Geun-hye accusing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un of “maniacal recklessness” for pursuing nuclear weapons despite the severe UN sanctions already imposed on his country, Reuters reported.

South Korea is reportedly set to hold consultations with the US and Japan regarding the North’s newest nuclear activity.

“Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, now traveling in Laos with President Park Geun-hye, is seeking to have consultations with close allies,” a senior South Korean official told Yonhap, adding that Yun will speak with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumoi Kishida via phone.

The Japanese government has lodged an official protest against the nuclear test, which was sent to Pyongyang via Chinese diplomatic channels, Kyodo News Agency reported.

A meeting of senior Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has also been scheduled, the Japan Times reported.

The office of the French president has also slammed the nuclear test, saying in a statement that it “vigorously condemns the new nuclear test that was conducted last night by North Korea and calls the United Nations’ Security Council to take up this violation of its resolutions.”

Pyongang confirmed the nuclear test on Friday, announcing that it is now capable of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic rockets. The test appears to be the most powerful ever conducted by North Korea’s nuclear program, according to South Korea’s defense ministry.