Canada joins widespread condemnation of North Korea's nuclear test claim
Published Wednesday, January 6, 2016 10:38AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 7, 2016 12:21AM EST
The Canadian government is condemning North Korea’s claim that it conducted its first hydrogen bomb test, calling it “reckless behaviour.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and his department expressed their outrage on Twitter, saying that a North Korean nuclear test represents a “violation” of international agreements.
“Canada condemns without reservation the reckless behaviour of
#NorthKorea, which today claimed to have detonated a nuclear device,” one of the tweets read.
Late Tuesday, a North Korean television anchor declared that Pyongyang had tested a “miniaturized” hydrogen bomb and that the exercise was a “perfect success.”
The state media said the test was a self-defence measure against a potential U.S. attack.
The announcement, however, was met with skepticism. Although seismic activity was detected in the vicinity of a known North Korean nuclear test site on Tuesday, South Korea's spy agency said the explosion appeared to be much smaller than would be expected, even in the event of a failed H-bomb detonation.
A White House spokesperson said Wednesday that an early analysis by the U.S. government was "not consistent with the claims that the regime has made of a successful hydrogen bomb test.”
Regardless of whether North Korea detonated a hydrogen bomb or something else, this is the country’s fourth nuclear test and it should be a “wake-up call” for those who may have dismissed the regime’s capacities, said Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian foreign affairs minister.
“This will be a sign that we have to be more serious,” Axworthy told CTV’s Power Play Wednesday, adding that the new Liberal government should take the opportunity to voice its stance on nuclear threats and work with other nations to de-escalate the situation.
Pyongyang’s announcement was widely condemned by the international community.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the hydrogen bomb claim “deeply troubling” as the UN convened an emergency meeting to discuss the issue.
“This act is profoundly destabilising for regional security and seriously undermines international non-proliferation efforts,” he said Wednesday. “I condemn it unequivocally.”
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye called it a “grave provocation of our national security,” as well as “a direct challenge to world peace and stability."
The British government echoed the White House by saying that any nuclear detonation by North Korea is a “grave breach” of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
“This absolutely cannot be tolerated and we strongly condemn this act,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a statement.
Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop also issued a statement, saying that the nuclear test “confirms North Korea's status as a rogue state and a continuing threat to international peace and security."
Axworthy said that China will be “the key” to de-escalating North Korea’s nuclear threats, because it’s a major support for the regime, especially when it comes to trade.
With files from The Associated Press