US Warns North Korea Of A Forceful Response If It Carries Out Nuclear Test
SOUTH KOREA - US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman warned North Korea of a "forceful response" if the country decides to carry out a nuclear test, as both U.S. and South Korean officials say that the North is preparing its first nuclear test in five years.
Officials said that North Korea is preparing to test another nuclear device at its testing nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, which was reportedly used to test nuclear devices in October 2006, May 2009, February 2013, January 2016, September 2016, and September 2017 when North Korea claimed to have tested a nuclear device designed to be used with its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMS).
Sherman, who traveled to South Korea to meet with South Korean and Japanese allies to discuss the escalating tensions said that "Any nuclear test would be in complete violation of UN Security Council resolutions. There would be a swift and forceful response to such a test. We continue to urge Pyongyang to cease its destabilising and provocative activities and choose the path of diplomacy".
The South China Morning Post stated that experts believe North Korea could use another nuclear test in order to claim that they have the capability of building small nuclear bombs that could be 'clustered' on a 'multiwarhead ICBM' or ones that would fit on any of North Korea's short-range solid-fuel missiles which 'pose a threat' to both South Korea and Japan.
Rafael Mariano Grossi, who is the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday that one of the passages at the Punggye-ri appears to have been reopened and believes that this indicates North Korea is preparing to conduct a seventh nuclear test.
Before Sherman's meeting in Seoul, South Korea, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price had also spoke to reporters in Washington and said that the United States is concerned that the North could carry out its seventh nuclear test "in the coming days".
"We have called on members of the international community, certainly members of the UN Security Council’s permanent five, to be responsible stakeholders in the UN Security Council as a pre-eminent forum for addressing threats to international peace and security" Price stated.
"Unilateral actions are never going to be the most attractive or even the most effective response, and that is especially the case because we are gratified that we have close allies in the form of Japan and the ROK [Republic of Korea]" he added.