SEOUL, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- North Korea was warned Thursday by the South that "it will face a stern reaction from the international community" if Pyongyang follows through on a threat to conduct a nuclear test.
North Korea's representative to the U.N., Choe Myong Nam, threatened more nuclear weapons tests in response to the U.N. Third Committee's passage of a non-binding resolution condemning North Korea for human rights abuses on Wednesday.
The South's Foreign Ministry criticized Pyongyang's response, advising that instead of nuclear tests, the government should focus on taking "specific and actual" measures to address its human rights issues.
The Foreign Ministry also said that it would work to deter a North Korea nuclear test. "Seoul will also thoroughly prepare for every scenario by closely cooperating with the global community, including parties to the six-party nuclear talks, in a bid to prevent Pyongyang from making provocations such as a nuke test."
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters that Seoul's military "has maintained full preparedness, and we will not tolerate any provocations or threats by North Korea."
Satellite imagery published Wednesday by U.S. think tank 38 North indicated activity at North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear facility.
Assessing the threat, South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo told a parliamentary defense committee meeting "I don't see any chances of North Korea conducting a nuclear test soon, though it appears prepared to do so."
North Korea previously conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.