The Latest: Obama reiterates commitment to SKorea security

World News

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The latest on North Korea’s announcement that it conducted a hydrogen bomb test Wednesday (all times Seoul):

10 a.m. Thursday

President Barack Obama spoke to the leaders of both South Korean and Japan after North Korea said it had carried out a hydrogen bomb test to reiterate “the unshakeable U.S. commitment to the security” of both countries.

Separate statements from the White House said Obama had spoken to South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. The statements said the countries “agreed to work together to forge a united and strong international response to North Korea’s latest reckless behavior.”


5:31 a.m.

The head of the U.N. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization says its monitors are looking for a smoking gun that will confirm that North Korea carried out a nuclear test — and whether it was a hydrogen bomb as Pyongyang claims.

Lassina Zerbo told U.N. reporters in New York that over 30 international monitoring stations detected Wednesday’s unusual seismic event on the Korean peninsula which was similar to North Korea’s last nuclear test in 2013.

Zerbo said the organization needs some time to detect radioisotopes released from an underground test and that there is no way to determine whether a hydrogen bomb was detonated without that information.

He said it took over 50 days to detect radioisotopes venting from North Korea’s previous test.


5:00 a.m. Thursday

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is calling on the U.N. Security Council to hold North Korea accountable “by imposing a tough, comprehensive and credible package of new sanctions” in response to that country’s announced nuclear test.

Ambassador Samantha Power issued a statement shortly after the council met in an emergency session on Pyongyang’s announcement.

Power says the international community must respond to the news with “steadily increasing pressure” and rigorous enforcement of existing sanctions.

A council statement says it will begin work immediately on a resolution for new measures against North Korea.

Power’s statement also says North Korea has “isolated itself and impoverished its people through its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.”


4:05 a.m. Thursday

Japan’s U.N. ambassador says the Security Council will hurt its credibility if it fails to swiftly adopt a new resolution imposing “significant” new measures against North Korea in response to its announced nuclear test.

Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa spoke to reporters shortly after the council met in emergency session Wednesday. Japan, the United States and South Korea requested the meeting.

Yoshikawa would not go into detail on what kinds of punitive measures Japan would like to see, saying that must be discussed among the council’s 15 members.


3:58 a.m. Thursday

The White House says the U.S. government’s early analysis of underground activity in North Korea “is not consistent” with that country’s claim of having conducted a successful hydrogen bomb test.

Spokesman Josh Earnest also says nothing has happened to change the U.S. government’s assessment of North Korea’s technical or military capabilities.

He says the U.S. government is still doing the work that’s needed to learn more about the nuclear test North Korea claims to have conducted successfully on Wednesday.

Pyongyang’s announcement of a successful hydrogen bomb test would mark a major and unanticipated advance for its still-limited nuclear arsenal.


3:41 a.m. Thursday

Ukraine’s U.N. ambassador says no member of the U.N. security Council spoke out against imposing new sanctions against North Korea during the council’s closed-door emergency meeting on Pyongyang’s announced nuclear test.

Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko spoke to reporters shortly after the council meeting Wednesday.

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