International reactions to the January 2016 North Korean nuclear test

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International reactions to the January 2016 North Korean nuclear test were nearly unanimous in their condemnation and denunciation of the test. All of the countries that have made public statements about this nuclear test were critical of North Korea, but not all countries have made public statements about this test.

The United Nations has subsequently passed the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2270.


  •  Argentina – Through a statement by the Foreign Ministry, Argentina "strongly condemned the test carried out by North Korea", and added that the test shows the "defiant attitude of North Korea, ignoring once again the calls for a halt on such tests". As a closing statement, Argentina expressed that it hopes that North Korea "ceases its hostility toward other nations and respect the international treatment of non-proliferation".[1]
  •  AustraliaAustralian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop issued a statement condemning the "provocative and dangerous behaviour of the North Korean regime" which she called[2] "a rogue state and a continuing threat to international peace and security".[3]
  •  Bangladesh – The Foreign Ministry expressed concerns and noted the test was against Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2094. It asked North Korea to refrain from action that would "potentially escalate the situation".[4][5]
  •  Brazil – The Foreign Ministry released a statement that condemns "strongly" the test conducted by North Korea with a hydrogen bomb. The Foreign Ministry said it had been aware of the fact with "great concern".[6]
  •  CanadaForeign Minister Stéphane Dion issued a statement condemning the test, which he described as "reckless behaviour". Adding that it was a "violation of international agreements" he repeated that Canada "condemns the test without reservation".[7]
  •  China – Spokesperson Hua Chunying of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the nation opposes this nuclear test.[8] "We strongly urge the DPRK side to remain committed to its denuclearisation commitment, and stop taking any actions that would make the situation worse," she added.[2]
  •  Colombia – The Government of Colombia, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, issued a statement condemning the test carried out by North Korea, while calling it a "threat to stability, peace, and regional, as well as global, security". The official release also made a call to cease all actions that impair peace and political stability in the Korean Peninsula.[9]
  •  France – This country called the test an "unacceptable violation" of UN resolutions and called for a strong reaction from the international community.[2]
  •  IndiaIndian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said it is a matter of deep concern that Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has again acted in violation of its international commitments. India called upon DPRK to refrain from such actions, which adversely impact peace and stability in the region.[10]
  •  Italy – Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni called his Japanese counterpart to discuss "the necessary reactions of the international community" to what Rome called North Korea's "provocation".[11]
  •  JapanJapanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe described the test as a "grave defiance of international efforts toward nuclear nonproliferation" and declared that the nation would make a "firm response" to the test.[12][13] Some analysts believe that Tokyo will consider further sanctions (a stricter trade embargo) in retaliation. Japan is within range of missiles from North Korea and is concerned about the possibility of a miniature nuclear device that could be delivered in that manner, a concept that is "scary" and Japan's "biggest threat", according to an official.[14]
  •  Malaysia – Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said in a statement “The test is a clear violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and a serious setback to the global disarmament and non-proliferation regime”.[15]
  •  New Zealand – New Zealand duty minister Sam Lotu-Iiga said the action was "highly provocative and irresponsible" and that New Zealand would help the United Nations Security council "ensure there was a strong response".[16] Lotu-Iiga said the New Zealand Government "strongly urges North Korea to cease its provocative behaviour and commit to not developing, testing or possessing nuclear weapons."[17][18]
  •  Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs stated that the Philippines strongly condemns any violation of UN Security Council Resolutions, which have demanded that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea should not have conducted further nuclear tests.[19]
  •  Russia – The Russian government has condemned the nuclear bomb test, calling it a "threat to national security" and "a clear violation of international law".[20] President Vladimir Putin has given instructions to thoroughly study data of all monitoring stations, including seismic, and analyze the situation in case the information about the test is confirmed.[21]
  •  Singapore – Singapore is "gravely concerned" by the North Korean announcement on the hydrogen bomb test. In a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it described the test as a "dangerous and provocative act with serious implications on the peace and stability of the region and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) itself".[22]
  •  Spain – Spain strongly condemned the test through a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described it as a "serious threat to international peace and security and to stability on the Korean Peninsula" and called upon the North Korean authorities to "fully comply with the resolutions of the United Nations and with its own commitments, bring an end to these tests and dismantle its nuclear arsenal in an irreversible manner that can be substantiated". The official statement also recalled that Spain "exercises the presidency of the Security Council Committee on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" and expressed Spain's "determination to collaborate with the international community to provide a firm response to this unacceptable violation of the aforesaid resolutions".[23]
  •  South Korea – President Park Geun-hye said the country would take decisive measures against any additional provocations.[2][24] A national security official added a warning: "Our military is at a state of full readiness, and if North Korea wages provocation, there will be firm punishment."[14] The country has discussed with the U.S. the possibility of the latter adding strategic weapons on the Korean peninsula.[25]
  •  Taiwan – The Taiwanese government published a statement that strongly condemned North Korea's action and expressed serious concern about it.[26]
  •  United Kingdom – Foreign secretary Phillip Hammond said the country "strongly oppose[s] the acquisition or testing of nuclear weapons by North Korea and ... [we] want to see a resumption of the six-party talks."[24]
  •  United States – The United States stated it would respond to provocations and called on North Korea to abide by its international commitments and obligations.[27] The White House made a general statement that the country would proceed in an appropriate manner in response to provocations in order to defend its allies.[24] A Boeing WC-135 Constant Phoenix atmospheric collections aircraft will be used to determine whether the claimed nuclear detonation was a hydrogen bomb detonation.[28] On 9 January, a US B-52 bomber, accompanied by US and South Korean fighters, flew over South Korea in a show of force.[29]
  •  VietnamForeign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh re-affirmed Vietnam's consistent position of supporting a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, comprehensive ban against nuclear testing, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and working toward nuclear disarmament.[30]


  •  European Union – The European Commission called the test a "grave violation" of UN resolutions.[24]
  •  NATO – This organization said the test "undermines regional and international security, and is in clear breach of UN Security Council resolutions" and added that the country should not have nuclear weapons.[2]
  • The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization described this test as a wake-up call for those countries that have yet to sign the treaty (India and Pakistan) to do so and for other members (United States, Iran, Israel, Egypt and China) to agree to its ratification.[24]
  •  United Nations – The Security Council held an emergency session on 6 January 2016 to discuss the legitimacy and consequences of the nuclear test.[31] Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon considers the test "profoundly destabilizing for regional security".[32] Subsequently, the Council said it would be developing new measures, presumably additional trade and travel sanctions, against North Korea.[33]
  • Unasur: The Union of South American Nations (Unasur) condemned the latest nuclear test by North Korea via Twitter.[34]


  1. ^ "Argentina condenó los ensayos nucleares de Corea del Norte" (in Spanish). Infonews. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "N Korean nuclear test condemned as intolerable provocation". Channel News Asia. Mediacorp. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Aust govt condemns North Korea's actions". Sky News Australia. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "North Korea's nuclear tests worry Dhaka". The Daily Star. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "Bangladesh voices 'concern' over North Korea's nuclear test". Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Itamaraty diz condenar teste com bomba feito pela Coreia do Norte". Mundo (in Portuguese). 
  7. ^ "Canada joins widespread condemnation of North Korea's nuclear test claim". CTV News. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "China firmly opposes DPRK's nuclear test". Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "Comunicado de prensa del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores sobre el ensayo nuclear por parte de la República Popular Democrática de Corea" (in Spanish). Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Colombia). Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  10. ^ "India expresses deep concern over N Korean nuclear test". The Tribune. Chandigarh, India. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "The Latest: SKorea to limit access to border industrial park". Houston Chronicle. 
  12. ^ "水爆実験 首相「強く非難」:@niftyニュース". @niftyニュース (in Japanese). Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Umekawa, Takashi (6 January 2016). "Japan says to make firm response to N. Korea's nuclear test". Reuters. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  14. ^ a b McCurry, Justin (7 January 2016). "North Korea nuclear test: Seoul to resume cross-border propaganda". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Malaysia condemns N. Korea H-bomb test". The Star. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "North Korea's H-Bomb test condemned". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "North Korea tests hydrogen bomb". NZ Herald. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  18. ^ "NZ strongly condemns North Korean nuclear test". Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  19. ^ Mabasa, Roy (6 January 2016). "PH expresses grave concern over North Korea's hydrogen bomb". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  20. ^ Gertcyk, Olga (6 January 2016). "Russia condemns North Korea's 'nuclear bomb test', a 'threat to national security'". The Siberian Times. Siberia, Russian Federation. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – Spokesman: Kremlin deeply concerned at North Korea statement about hydrogen bomb test". TASS. 
  22. ^ "Singapore 'gravely concerned' by North Korea's H-bomb test announcement". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  23. ^ "Thermonuclear test in North Korea". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Spain). Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  24. ^ a b c d e Borger, Julian; McCurry, Justin (6 January 2016). "North Korea hydrogen bomb test claim met with increasing skepticism". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  25. ^ Park, Ju-Min (7 January 2016). "South Korea to secure U.S. weapons: 'If North Korea wages provocation, there will be firm punishment'". National Post. Toronto, Canada. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  26. ^ "Taiwan condemns North Korean hydrogen bomb test". Central News Agency. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  27. ^ "North Korea announces hydrogen bomb test". BBC News. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  28. ^ Lamothe, Dan (6 January 2016). "This is the Air Force radiation sniffer plane deploying after North Korea's nuclear test". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  29. ^ Associated Press (9 January 2016). "The Latest: US B-52 returns to Guam after S. Korea fly-over". The Washington Post. 
  30. ^ "VN deeply concerned over DPRK hydrogen bomb test". Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  31. ^ "North Korea says it has conducted hydrogen bomb test". CNN. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  32. ^ "North Korea nuclear H-bomb claims met by scepticism". BBC News, Asia. BBC. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  33. ^ "North Korea nuclear test: UN vows new measures". BBC Asia. BBC. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  34. ^ [1] "#South America as a region free of nuclear weapons condemns the arms race by #North Korea."
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