Obama denounces North Korea claims of hydrogen bomb test

The president said the United States would take all measures to defend the safety of Japan and its allies.
By Elizabeth Shim  |  Jan. 6, 2016 at 10:28 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- President Obama denounced North Korea's claims of a hydrogen bomb test as Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his South Korea counterpart issued a joint statement opposing North Korea as a nuclear state.

In an emergency call Wednesday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama had said North Korea's test is a despicable act that threatens the region and the international community, Kyodo News reported.

Obama also said the United States would take all measures to defend the safety of Japan and its allies.

During the call Abe said that it would be important for the international community to respond decisively to North Korea in order to send a strong message and prevent further provocations.

The two leaders also agreed to work to push for new United Nations Security Council sanctions.

In a separate statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said North Korea had engaged in a very provocative act that brazenly violated U.N. Security Council resolutions, South Korean outlet News 1 reported.

Kerry stated the United States does not recognize North Korea as a nuclear state. North Korea's nuclear test would strengthen U.S. resolve, Kerry said, adding Washington is to cooperate closely with the U.N. Security Council and member states of the six-party talks in order to take appropriate action.

North Korea's claims of a hydrogen bomb test is drawing South Korea and the United States closer in a security alliance designed to defend Seoul from an attack.

Yonhap reported South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said Thursday Carter had reaffirmed U.S. commitment to the defense of the peninsula, including all the extended deterrence capability of the United States.

Speaking while Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of U.S. forces in Korea, stood nearby, Han said both countries would continue to engage in joint military exercises, and build out custom strategies including a U.S.- South Korea joint defense strategy to detect, defend, disrupt and destroy missiles, also known as 4D.

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