The DPRK’s claim of having conducted a successful hydrogen bomb test on Wednesday has not just invited international condemnation, but also sent ripples in its region.
The U.N. Security Council was unanimous in its condemnation of the test in an emergency meeting convened late on Wednesday.
“This test once again violates numerous Security Council resolutions. It is also a grave contravention of the international norm against nuclear testing. This act is profoundly destabilizing regional security and seriously undermining international non-proliferation efforts. I condemn it unequivocally. I demand the DPRK cease any further nuclear activities and meet its obligations for verifiable denuclearization,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.
DPRK expert Joe Bermudez on the recent nuclear test
One of those closely watching the developments in East Asia is a veteran analyst and DPRK expert who lives in Colorado. Joe Bermudez has been studying and writing about the country for three decades now. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy sat down with him earlier Friday.
DPRK expert Joe Bermudez on the recent nuclear testFrom high above, Bermudez, the chief analytics officer at AllSource Analysis, said there’s unmistakable evidence of an underground nuclear test in the DPRK. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy sat down with him earlier Friday.
From high above, Bermudez, the chief analytics officer at AllSource Analysis, said there’s unmistakable evidence of an underground nuclear test in the DPRK.
“We noticed increased activity here and here so they were actually moving dirt out or bringing dirt in,” Bermudez said. “To the best of our knowledge it was not a hydrogen bomb.”
But it’s very troubling nonetheless, he said.
“They [the DPRK] believe that nuclear weapons are core to their nation’s survival. And it’s become a point of pride and part of the core values of the nation,” he added.
Bermudez said what happened Wednesday represents not just a military threat, but it makes investors nervous, too.
“It affects the economy in South Korea, it affects the economy in Japan, somewhat affects the economy in China, affects the economy in the U.S. which then affects the economy back in China. And it’s actually a cycle that feeds on itself,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, U.N. Security Council President Elbio Rosselli also indicated that “further measures” would be taken in a new Security Council resolution.
In a conversation with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama vowed to take all necessary measures to defend the country, reiterating America’s commitment to its ally.
The two presidents were of the view that the DPRK should pay a corresponding price for its nuclear test and agreed to cooperate in adopting a strong Security Council resolution.
Park also spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday. Abe had on Wednesday described the test as a security threat to his country.
Citing an unnamed South Korean military official, Reuters reported that Seoul and Washington have discussed the deployment of U.S. strategic assets on the divided Korean Peninsula.
Reuters also interviewed Anthony Cordesman, a defense policy expert at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, who said the U.S. has few options given that “any over-reaction can easily lead to not only a conflict between South and North Korea, but drag China and the U.S. and Japan into a confrontation.”
China has also been sharply critical of the DPRK’s decision to conduct its fourth nuclear test.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said that China “firmly opposes” the test and, “strongly urges the DPRK to honor its commitment to denuclearization, and to cease any action that may deteriorate the situation.”
On Thursday, the ministry called for the resumption of the six-party talks to resolve the concerns of all sides.
China’s Environmental Protection Ministry has also been evaluating the impact of the test and analyzing the radiation data collected along the border. So far, the ministry has not reported any abnormal levels of radiation after the test.
Story by CCTV
Professor Stephan Haggard on DPRK nuclear test
CCTV America’s Mike Walter interviewed Stephan Haggard, the director of the Korea-Pacific Program at the University of California, San Diego about the DPRK nuclear test.