Theresa May brands North Korea nuclear test 'reckless and unacceptable'

Boris Johnson also urged China to increase economic pressure on North Korea

Tom Peck
Sunday 03 September 2017 16:04
Comments
The Prime Minister discussed the North Korea issue in Japan earlier this week
The Prime Minister discussed the North Korea issue in Japan earlier this week

Theresa May has called the latest North Korea nuclear weapons tests “reckless and unacceptable”.

The Prime Minister said in a statement: “This latest action by North Korea is reckless and poses an unacceptable further threat to the international community.

“I discussed the serious and grave threat these dangerous and illegal actions present with President Abe in Japan this week and reiterate the call we jointly made for tougher action, including increasing the pace of implementation of existing sanctions and looking urgently in the UN Security Council at new measures.”

“This is now even more pressing. The international community has universally condemned this test and must come together to continue to increase the pressure on North Korea’s leaders to stop their destabilising actions.”

After the test, propaganda pictures were published of Kim Jong-un examining what was said to be a nuclear warhead being fitted on to the nose of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

US President Donald Trump said on Twitter: “North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success. South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, said: “There is no question that this is another provocation, it is reckless, what they are doing is they seem to be moving closer towards a hydrogen bomb which, if fitted to a successful missile, would unquestionably present a new order of threat.

“We have to consider how to respond and it’s our view in the UK, overwhelmingly, that peaceful diplomatic means are the best.”

Asked how close the crisis was to conflict, Mr Johnson said: “It’s certainly our view that none of the military options are good. It is of course right to say that all options are on the table, but we really don’t see an easy military solution.”

The proximity of South Korean capital Seoul meant the North “could basically vaporise” large parts of the country’s population even with conventional weapons, he warned.

The Chinese government “expressed firm opposition and strong condemnation” and urged North Korea to “stop taking erroneous actions that deteriorate the situation”.

But Mr Johnson urged Beijing to go further in putting economic pressure on its neighbour.

He said: “Our message to the Chinese is, and we are working ever more closely with them, we think there is more scope for you, the Chinese, to put economic pressure on the North Koreans.

“It has worked, we have seen signs in the last six months of Chinese pressure actually changing the approach of North Koreans – let’s see if we can do it again.”

The detonation was North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date.

The artificial earthquake triggered by the detonation was several times stronger than from previous blasts and reportedly shook buildings in China and Russia.

The test was carried out at 12.29pm local time at the Punggye-ri site where North Korea has conducted nearly all of its past nuclear tests.

Officials in Seoul put the magnitude of the quake at 5.7 while the US Geological Survey said it was a 6.3.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in