UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council agreed on Wednesday to roll out new measures to punish North Korea after its shock announcement of a hydrogen bomb test triggered global concern and condemnation.
Although officials and experts were highly sceptical of the claim it was a sophisticated H-bomb, the latest test provided unnerving proof – if proof were still needed – of North Korea's commitment to developing an advanced nuclear weapons capability.
The 15-member council strongly condemned the test and said it would begin work on a new UN draft resolution that would contain "further significant measures."
UN diplomats confirmed that talks were under way on strengthening several sets of sanctions that have been imposed on secretive North Korea since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.
"I demand the DPRK cease any further nuclear activities," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, echoing international condemnation of the test voiced not just by the North's traditional adversaries like the United States and South Korea, but also allies like China.
The censure and sanctions threats had a familiar ring, given similar outrage that greeted the North's previous tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013, and some voices stressed the need to find a strategy that combined coercion with negotiation. — AFP