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How the world reacted to North Korea's bomb test

September 3, 2017

North Korea created a stir around the world when it said it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. World leaders expressed grave concerns over the ‘rogue nation’s’ fast-evolving nuclear capabilities.

Undated photo released Sunday of Kim Jong Un
Image: Reuters/KCNA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said North Korea's provocations had "reached a new dimension" with the latest nuclear test.

Merkel spoke on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron. Both leaders condemned North Korea and expressed their support for a tightening of EU sanctions against Pyongyang.

European Council President Donald Tusk said the European Union was prepared to ramp up sanctions against North Korea.

US President Donald Trump threatened to sever trade ties with any country doing business with North Korea, which he described as a "rogue nation.”

When asked if he would consider attacking North Korea after the latest nuclear test, Trump replied, "We'll see.”

Earlier, Trump rebuked key ally South Korea for following a policy of "appeasement,” while adding that China was failing in its efforts to successfully rein in North Korea's nuclear program.

South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in said Seoul would push for strong steps to further isolate the North, including new UN sanctions.

The president's office said Moon will also discuss with Washington ways to deploy the "strongest strategic assets" the U.S. has. It did not reveal what it meant by "strongest strategic assets."

Read more: Hydrogen vs atomic bomb: What's the difference?

China and Russia

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin brought up the issue of the test during their meeting on the sidelines of a BRICS summit in China.Both leaders expressed their deep concerns about security on the Korean Peninsula.

Russia said it was ready to play a role in solving the North Korean crisis.

"The imposed sanctions have not created any positive outcome. On the contrary, the situation leaves something to be desired," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

China, North Korea's sole major ally, strongly condemned the nuclear test and urged Pyongyang to stop its "wrong" actions.


Japan called for further sanctions on North Korea. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the test "absolutely unacceptable."

Abe said the North's nuclear and missile programs now posed a more "grave and urgent" threat to his country.

"Whether we can stop North Korea's reckless actions that threaten world peace depends on the cooperation and solidarity of the international community," he added.


British Prime Minister Theresa May termed the weapon test an "unacceptable further threat" to the international community. She said tougher action was needed, including speeding up the implementation of sanctions.

United Nations

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the hydrogen bomb test was "profoundly destabilizing for regional security" and called on the country's leadership to cease such acts.

"This act is yet another serious breach of the DPRK's international obligations and undermines international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts," Guterres said in a statement, referring to North Korea's official name.

The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting on Monday.

ap/jm (Reuters, AP, AFP)