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NKorea warned of severe consequences if it tests nuclear weapon

NKorea warned of severe consequences if it tests nuclear weapon

Key U.S. ally Australia delivered a stern warning to North Korea on Wednesday that a nuclear weapons test would be completely unacceptable to the world and bring severe consequences to Pyongyang.
North Korean Ambassador Chon Jae-hong was summoned to meet senior Australian officials on Wednesday and "was warned in the strongest possible terms of the severe consequences should North Korea conduct a nuclear test," Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said in a statement.
"A nuclear test would be completely unacceptable to the international community, and would provoke a very strong international response," Downer said.
That response would "logically go beyond" a U.N. Security Council resolution passed in July that condemned missile tests by the North this year and banned all U.N. member states from selling material or technology for missiles or weapons of mass destruction to North Korea.
Downer said Chon was called in to the meeting in Canberra so Australia could register its grave concerns about the North's announcement on Tuesday that it would test a nuclear weapon.
Canberra's condemnation of the plan test has been among the strongest delivered since the announcement was made. Australia is one of few close military allies of Washington that has diplomatic ties with Pyongyang, though they are limited. Australia is also outside the group of six nations trying to negotiate an end to the North's nuclear ambitions.
"This is a defiant, impudent act by North Korea," Prime Minister John Howard told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio on Wednesday.
The U.N. now faces a test to "bring to the North Koreans the reality that the rest of the world regards them as behaving in a diplomatic way as the international outlaw," he said.
Earlier, Downer described the North Korean announcement as "highly provocative" and "deeply offensive."
Pak Myong-guk, an official at the North's embassy in Australia, denied the announcement was provocative and said the test was a necessary deterrent to U.S. aggression and economic sanctions.
"The situation on the Korean Peninsula is very, very tense, it may be breaking out in war at any time," he told The Associated Press.
"These kinds of threats of nuclear war and sanctions and pressure by the United States compel us to conduct a nuclear test," he said. "It is the essential process for nuclear deterrent as a corresponding measure for defense."
Elsewhere in Oceania, New Zealand also decried the announcement.
"North Korea's statement is intolerable, and New Zealand joins others in the international community in condemning it," Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in a statement. "If this threat is carried out, North Korea can expect a harsh response from the international community."


Updated : 2020-12-06 09:45 GMT+08:00