North Korea’s Hydrogen bomb test sparks global outrage

korea-north1North Korea’s claim of having conducted a hydrogen bomb test has elicited a chorus of global outrage, with world leaders promising a firm response. India has cautioned Pyongyang to refrain from actions that will impact peace and stability in the region.

The claims of North Korea successfully conducting a thermonuclear device are set to exacerbate geopolitical tensions and alter the balance of power in the Korean Peninsula. The international community has called it an intolerant provocation that must be punished.

Taking a more nuanced position, China, North Korea’s most important diplomatic partner, said it “firmly opposes” the test and would summon Pyongyang’s ambassador for “solemn representations”. China said dialogue was the “only practical way to resolve the relevant issue”.

The neighbouring South Korea which has a history of strained relationship with North Korea strongly condemned the tests. South Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye described the test as a “grave provocation” at an emergency meeting of the country’s National Security Council (NSC). The NSC convened immediately after the news broke. “The test is not only a grave provocation to our national security but also a threat to our future… and a strong challenge to international peace and stability,” she said. Ms Park has demanded strong sanctions against Pyongyang.

Japan slammed the tests, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying, the tests were “a serious threat to the safety of our nation”.

The US refused to confirm whether the tests actually took place or not. However, Washington vowed to “respond appropriately to any and all North Korean provocations”, according to a White House statement. Britain wasn’t far behind in condemning the tests, with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond saying the test was “a grave breach of UN Security Council resolutions and a provocation”.

New Delhi, which has always opposed proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, said DPRK has again acted in violation of its international commitments. “We have seen reports that Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted a nuclear test today. We are assessing available information including claims that this was a thermonuclear test,” said Vikas Swarup, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry.

India has also urged North Korea to refrain from actions which impact the peace and stability of the region.

Impact on Korean peninsula

During his New Year speech, North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un had spoken about improving ties with South Korea. However, the nuclear tests have now only increased the insecurity existing in the peninsula. South Korea, which exemplifies economic success unlike its northern counterpart, has expressed concerns over increasing regional instability. The thermonuclear tests have dashed all hopes of a reconciliation between the leadership of the two countries, which is necessary to maintain regional peace and stability. “The claims of North Korea need to be verified, but if they are true then it will seriously endanger stable balance of power in the Korean peninsula and the extended region. It’s also going to put global non-proliferation regime under severe stress, and could prod South Korea and Japan to go nuclear,” says Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network.






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