Leaders from around the world have been adding their voices to the chorus of condemnation following the news on North Korea’s nuclear test. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer gave his reaction at a media conference in Brussels. “On behalf of NATO I can not do anything else but condemn this and consider this an unacceptable move. Going back to the six-party talks, and stopping any development of nuclear weapons, is the way to go, and no other way.”
EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana echoed those remarks. “As you know, non-proliferation for us continues to be a priority, and we feel that this act of North Korea goes against all the principles that we defend.”
In Russia, President Vladimir Putin expressed concern that the nuclear test could have a knock on effect and trigger a nuclear arms race in the region.
“Russia certainly condemns the testing carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It doesn’t just concern North Korea, enormous damage has been done to the process of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the world.”
In recent years, Moscow has tried to restore Soviet era ties with the renegade nation. Putin has visited North Korea, and, Kim Jong il, in his rare visits abroad has been to Russia – but so far, it seems, Moscow’s diplomatic efforts have done little to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear determination.