The United States, Japan and South Korea Sunday roundly condemned North Korea’s recent nuclear test and called for further sanctions against the regime.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts ahead of this week’s U.N. General Assembly to discuss North Korea’s recent nuclear test and other actions by the isolated state.
The State Department said Kerry, stressing the U.S. commitment to the security of South Korea and Japan, held a trilateral meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.
The ministers discussed Pyongyang’s “flagrant disregard” for multiple U.N. resolutions prohibiting the North’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs and called for “even stronger international pressure.”
"Our message today is crystal clear: No. 1, North Korea cannot continue to deride the Security Council and the United Nations," Yun said. "The Security Council must swiftly adopt a robust new sanctions resolution and prove its credibility and authority.
"No. 2, Kim Jong Un and North Korean regime cannot get away with all their misbehavior and provocations. ...
"No. 3, North Korea cannot prevail over the international community, including South Korea, United States, and Japan. As the key stakeholders in this nuclear conundrum, the three of us will continue to muster the collective will of the international community to this end."
"We are working closely with you and with all of our — all of the interested parties in the region to be sure that we make it clear to a reckless dictator that all he is doing through his actions is isolating his country, isolating his people, depriving his people of genuine economic opportunity, and that the global community will not be intimidated and will not pull back from our obligations under the nonproliferation treaty and all of our international efforts to rein in nuclear weapons rather than see them proliferate." Kerry said. "We are going to continue on our course."
The diplomats said they remain open to talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
The U.N. Security Council currently is considering further sanctions against the North.
North Korea’s underground nuclear test Sept. 8 was its fifth. Its first nuclear test was conducted in 2006. The North also recently tested ballistic missiles in its effort to find a delivery system to strike the United States.
U.S. bombers overflew Osan Air Base south of Seoul Tuesday to express anger over the North’s most recent tests. Pyongyang labeled the show of force “bluster.”
"They are bluffing that B-1Bs are enough for fighting an all-out nuclear war," according to a statement from the Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea accused the U.S. of inflaming tensions in the region and said it was preparing to stop U.S. moves.
"They had better stop their rash actions," KCNA said.