United Nations Weighs North Korea Response

President Bush

President Bush speaks on the phone with Chinese President Hu Jintao in the Oval Office of the White House Monday. Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Getty Images

President Bush swiftly condemned North Korea's reported nuclear weapons test, saying the United States would hold North Korea "fully accountable for the consequences of such action."

The U.N. Security Council began drafting a resolution that could lead to further sanctions against North Korea. The United States wants to crack down on North Korea's sales and purchases of weapons related material, and curb illicit financial activities.

Bush Statement on North Korea's Nuclear Claim

Below is the text of President Bush's statement, as released by the White House, on North Korea's claim that it had conducted a nuclear test.

Last night the government of North Korea proclaimed to the world that it had conducted a nuclear test. We're working to confirm North Korea's claim. Nonetheless, such a claim itself constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The United States condemns this provocative act. Once again North Korea has defied the will of the international community, and the international community will respond.

This was confirmed this morning in conversations I had with leaders of China, and South Korea, Russia, and Japan. We reaffirmed our commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, and all of us agreed that the proclaimed actions taken by North Korea are unacceptable and deserve an immediate response by the United Nations Security Council.

The North Korean regime remains one of the world's leading proliferator of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria. The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable of the consequences of such action.

The United States remains committed to diplomacy, and we will continue to protect ourselves and our interests. I reaffirmed to our allies in the region, including South Korea and Japan, that the United States will meet the full range of our deterrent and security commitments.

Threats will not lead to a brighter future for the North Korean people, nor weaken the resolve of the United States and our allies to achieve the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Today's claim by North Korea serves only to raise tensions, while depriving the North Korean people of the increased prosperity and better relations with the world offered by the implementation of the joint statement of the six-party talks. The oppressed and impoverished people of North Korea deserve that brighter future.

Thank you.

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