South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye has vowed to make the necessary efforts to ensure that the UN Security Council adopts harsh punitive measures against Pyongyang over its latest nuclear test.
“North Korea’s nuclear test is an unacceptable challenge to peace and security in Northeast Asia and the world,” Park said in a televised annual address on Wednesday.
She added, “The international community’s countermeasures against North Korea’s last nuclear test must differ from the past.”
Park said Seoul is working with the United Nations to adopt the “strongest” resolution to penalize Pyongyang and make it change its course.
The South Korean president further stated that Seoul would also hold negotiations about additional “punitive sanctions” against North Korea with the United States and its allies.
Park also called on China to play a “necessary role” for imposition of strong sanctions on North Korea, saying Beijing must put its strong determination into actual and necessary actions, otherwise Pyongyang could not be prevented from carrying out “a fifth or sixth nuclear test.”
China, which is considered North Korea’s main ally, has announced that it “firmly opposes” Pyongyang’s nuclear test, adding that it was carried out “irrespective of the international community’s opposition.”
“We strongly urge the DPRK (North Korea) side to remain committed to its denuclearization commitment, and stop taking any actions that would make the situation worse,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said.
On January 6, Pyongyang said it had successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test. North Korea’s state news agency later stressed in a statement that Pyongyang will continue to build up its nuclear program as “deterrence” against potential aggression from the United States.
North Korea is under UN sanctions over launching missiles considered by the US and South Korea as ballistic and aimed at delivering nuclear warheads, but Pyongyang says its numerous missile tests seek to boost its defense capabilities in the face of enemy threats.