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Obama Administration Says N. Korea’s Nuclear Tests are a Threat to the United States

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Leon Panetta, US Defense Secretary, said that North Korea is a “serious threat” to the United States and Washington must be prepared to deal with it.

The warning came after Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test on Tuesday.

In a White House released statement on Tuesday, President Obama called North Korea’s third successful nuclear test a “highly provocative act” that “undermines regional stability” and threatens action by the international community.

He said North Korea’s nuclear program constitutes “a threat to U.S. national security.”

Panetta said, “We saw what North Korea has done these last few weeks with a missile test and now a nuclear test.” He added, “North Korea represents a serious threat to the US. We’ve got to be prepared to deal with that.”

The U.N Security Council Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, condemned the action of the North Koreans and promised to take tough action. Ki-moon said that it was, “deplorable that Pyongyang defied the strong and unequivocal call from the international community to refrain from any further provocative measures.”

The council issued a statement condemning the underground nuclear test and has reportedly scheduled an emergency meeting.

North Korea could have taken a big step closer to building a nuclear warhead that could be mounted on a long-range missile that could threaten the United States.

The North Korean state media said the test was conducted in a safe manner and is aimed at coping with “outrageous” U.S. hostility that “violently” undermines the North’s peaceful, sovereign rights to launch satellites.

It said that the test was merely its “first response” to U.S. threats, and said it will continue with unspecified “second and third measures of greater intensity” if Washington maintains its hostility.

Kim Sung-hwan, South Korean Foreign Minister said the test had violated resolutions and “there continues to exist a clear threat to international peace and security.”

This is the first nuclear test to be carried out under the North’s young leader, Kim Jong Un. Who is following in his father’s footsteps by building up the military deterrent to stay off it’s enemies and ignoring the international rules and regulations.

Susan Rice, the U.S ambassador to the United Nations, said that the council “must and will deliver a swift, credible and strong response.”

She added that North Korea, “does not and will not benefit from violating international law.”

The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

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