Security Council urged to be “wise and bold” on DPRK

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The Security Council meeting in New York. Photo: UN Photo/Mark Garten

The nuclear bomb test announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a "dangerous provocation" which needs "united" and "appropriate action" from the international community.

That was the message to the UN Security Council on Monday, from UN chief António Guterres, delivered by Jeffrey Feltman, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

He was there after the 15-member body met in emergency session in New York at the request of Japan, the U.S. the UK, France and South Korea – its delegation condemned what its northern neighbour's "do or die behaviour".

Daniel Johnson has more.

Addressing the Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged delegations to act quickly on a draft resolution proposing a further strengthening of sanctions against DPRK.

She added that she would be requesting a vote on the text in seven days.

Russian Federation Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told journalists later that although everyone in the Security Council meeting had condemned the test, he was not at all sure that more punitive measures would resolve the crisis:

"Whatever measures we are planning now, I'm not sure they will influence the other side to abandon what they have been doing, and this is not the way to get parties to the table and to seek for a political solution that we are all in favour of."

Earlier, UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the New York body what was known about the nuclear test at the weekend – DPRK's sixth to date.

Mr Feltman said that monitoring stations had picked up evidence pointing to "an unusual seismic event" in an area previously used by DPRK in previous nuclear tests.

Experts estimated the yield of that exercise at between 50 and 100 kilotons – around five times more powerful than the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

The UN official added that media in DPRK reported that the bomb could trigger a devastating electromagnetic pulse attack – whose aim is to cause widespread damage to power grids and electronic systems, including satellites.

As the Security Council considers its next move, Mr Feltman told its members that the UN Secretary-General was counting on them – amid rising tensions – for "wise and bold diplomacy" to break the cycle of provocations from the DPRK.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1’47″

 

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