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N. Korean Tests Prompt Global Condemnation

BY Admin  May 25, 2009 at 3:40 PM EDT

President Obama discusses N. Korea; Getty photo

U.S. President Barack
Obama

“North
Korea’s nuclear ballistic missile programs
pose a great threat to the peace and security of the world and I strongly condemn
their reckless action. North Korea’s
actions endanger the people of Northeast Asia, they are a blatant violation of
international law, and they contradict North Korea’s own prior
commitments.

“Now, the United States and the international
community must take action in response. The record is clear: North Korea has previously
committed to abandoning its nuclear program. Instead of following through on
that commitment it has chosen to ignore that commitment. These actions have
also flown in the face of United Nations resolutions. As a result North Korea
is not only deepening its own isolation, it’s also inviting stronger
international pressure — that’s evident overnight, as Russia and China, as
well our traditional allies of South Korea and Japan, have all come to the same
conclusion: North Korea will not find security and respect through threats and
illegal weapons.

“We will work with our friends and our allies to stand
up to this behavior and we will redouble our efforts toward a more robust
international nonproliferation regime that all countries have responsibilities
to meet.”

Japan‘s Prime Minister Taro Aso

“For us, it raises tensions in the region
extremely.”

Russian Foreign
Ministry

“The latest steps by North
Korea escalate tensions in north-east Asia
and endanger security and stability in the region.”

Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

“We don’t have any cooperation (with North Korea) in
this field. We oppose the production, the amassing and proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction,” Ahmadinejad told a news conference. He said Iran has no missile or nuclear cooperation with North Korea. Military
experts say Iran’s
Shahab-3 missile is based on the North Korean Nodong missile, according to the
BBC.

Chinese Foreign
Ministry

“The Chinese side vehemently demands North Korea abides by its
denuclearization promises, stop any actions which may worsen the situation and
return to the six-party talks process.

“The Chinese government calls on all sides to calmly
and appropriately deal (with the situation).”

South Korea Statement

“The nuclear test is a serious threat to peace and
stability on the Korean Peninsula and in north-east Asia
and a serious challenge to the international regime on nuclear
non-proliferation.”

Australian Foreign
Minister Stephen Smith

“[T]hey deserve and get nothing other than our absolute
condemnation, and that condemnation should be echoed around our region and the
globe.”

British Prime
Minister Gordon Brown

“This act will undermine prospects for peace on the
Korean peninsula and will do nothing for North Korea’s
security.”

NATO Statement

“These irresponsible actions by Pyongyang
pose a serious challenge to peace, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific
region and are being universally condemned by the international community.

“We call upon Pyongyang
to refrain from any other actions which could contribute to raising tensions
and to restore dialogue within the Six-Party framework. The Alliance
will continue to carefully monitor developments with deep concern.”

Adm. Mike Mullen,
chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

The test show North Korea is
“a country that I think continues to destabilize that region” and
could in the long term be a significant threat to the United
States.

Victor Cha, Korea
chair, Center for Strategic & International Studies

“These tests could reflect a leadership transition in
the North in which the stroke-afflicted leader Kim Jong-Il is gradually being
succeeded by a coterie of hard-line loyalists and members of the Kim family.

“Internal political fluidity in totalitarian systems
like North Korea usually gets externalized in
belligerent, not conciliatory behavior.”

Xu Guangyu,
researcher, China Arms Control and Disarmament
Association

“This came unexpectedly quickly. But North
Korea has been seeking ways to pressure the United
States and South Korea to open up
dialogue with them.”

“North Korea’s strategic
objective hasn’t changed. That objective is to win the attention of the Obama
administration, to push the North Korea issue up
the agenda.”

Dong Yong-Sueng,
senior fellow, Samsung Economic Research

“North Korea had already
hinted at the possibility of a nuclear test and this test underscored its
strong will to hold a nuclear deterrent.”

Scott Snyder, Asia Foundation

“Given internal events related to North
Korea’s preparations for succession, the statement very much
suggests a desire to ‘deter’ external interference in that process and to
consolidate a deterrent capacity. This suggests a heightened feeling of
vulnerability in Pyongyang.”