U.S. President Barack
Obama has condemned North Korea's latest nuclear test, saying the international
community must stand up to Pyongyang. Mr. Obama says North Korea's actions
endanger its neighbors, and are a blatant violation of international
President Obama appeared before television cameras at the White
House to deliver a blunt message to North Korea's leaders.
nuclear and ballistic missile programs pose a grave threat to the peace and
security of the world, and I strongly condemn their reckless action," he
Speaking just hours before the U.N. Security Council was due to
meet in emergency session on North Korea, the president stressed the need for
"North Korea's actions endanger the people of
Northeast Asia. They are a blatant violation of international law. And they
contradict North Korea's own prior commitments. Now, the United States and the
international community must take action in response," the president
Mr. Obama said Pyongyang is deepening its isolation, and inviting
increased international pressure. He made specific mention of the response from
Moscow and Beijing to North Korea's announcement of an underground nuclear test,
and the reported test firing of three short range ground-to-air
"Russia and China as well as our traditional allies of South
Korea and Japan have all come to the same conclusion: North Korea will not find
security and respect through threats and illegal weapons," Mr. Obama
Earlier, in a series of interviews on national television,
America's top military officer underscored the seriousness of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said it may
take several days to verify the tests occurred. But he told CBS's Early Show
that he sees a growing belligerence on the part of North Korea, and a stepped up
defiance of international law.
"All of those things point to a country
that I think continues to destabilize that region and actually in the long term,
should they continue on to develop a nuclear weapons program, pose a significant
threat to the United States," he said.
During an appearance on NBC's
Today program, Mullen was asked if the United States has the ability to respond
to a growing number of threats abroad, including North Korea.
"I am very
confident that we can deal with a threat posed by North Korea. And it is not
just the United States because there are many countries, and certainly those in
the region, who are equally concerned," Mullen said.
scheduled the interviews to mark America's Memorial Day holiday, when the nation
honors its war dead.