Pressure is building on the North Korean leadership over its reported nuclear bomb test. In a rare show of unity the UN Security Council has called for a tough response to the claim. Reports of a second test caused more alarm but US officials said it was an earthquake off Japan. Pyongyang announced on Monday it had conducted an underground nuclear detonation, sparking immediate condemnation around the world. The UN Security Council met yesterday to consider its response.
Even China – the nearest North Korea has to an ally – said punitive measures were necessary. Beijing’s UN ambassador: “I think that there has to be some punitive actions. We need to have a firm, constructive, appropriate but prudent response to North
Korea’s nuclear threat.”
But both China and Russia have insisted an eventual UN resolution should exclude military action. And they are opposed to a US proposal to allow international inspections of cargo leaving or moving into North Korea. Negotiations on the wording of a resolution will continue today.