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Pressure builds for new UN sanctions on North Korea after nuke test

The United States, Britain and France pushed the United Nations Security Council on Friday to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its fifth and biggest nuclear test as the 15-member council condemned the move by Pyongyang.

New test, the country's 5th, resulted in a blast more powerful than Hiroshima bomb

A South Korean marine watches a TV screen reporting about North Korea's nuclear test at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, Sep. 9, 2016. The letters on the screen read: 'Explosion suspect.' (Kim Ju-sung/Yonhap/Associated Press)

The United States, Britain and France pushed the United Nations Security Council on Friday to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its fifth and biggest nuclear test as the 15-member council condemned the move by Pyongyang.

North Korea conducted the nuclear test on Friday and said it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic 
missile, ratcheting up a threat that its rivals and the United Nations have been powerless to contain.

"North Korea is seeking to perfect its nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles so they can hold the region and the 
world hostage under threat of nuclear strike," U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters ahead of the council meeting.
 
"We will take additional significant steps, including new sanctions to demonstrate to North Korea that there are 
consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions," Power said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the chorus of international condemnation, calling the test a threat to the region's stability and an "unacceptable violation" of UN Security Council resolutions.
(CBC News)
 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion also released a statement Friday saying that the test was a direct threat to international security. "Canada condemns in the strongest terms North Korea's announced detonation of a nuclear warhead," Dion said. "We call upon North Korea to comply with its international obligations, take concrete steps toward denuclearization and re-engage in meaningful negotiations for a peaceful political solution."

Dion expressed support for South Korea and Japan, saying Canada "will examine further actions, in concert with the international community, in response to North Korea's behaviour."

UN Security Council condemns test

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006. In March, the Security Council tightened sanctions to further 
isolate the impoverished country after its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February.

The Security Council condemned Friday's test, calling it "a clear violation and in flagrant disregard" of previous resolutions and of the nonproliferation regime.

In the unanimously adopted March resolution, the council expressed "its determination to take further significant measures in the event of a further DPRK (North Korea) nuclear test or launch."

The 15-member council said it will begin to work immediately on appropriate measures, without adding details.
 
"Weakness is simply not an option, North Korea will have to bear the consequences of its actions and provocations," French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters. "France calls for the adoption as soon as possible of a new resolution."
North Korea TV announcement on nuclear test 0:33

 
Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters: "I think we should condemn it first of all and then we will see 
what we can do."
 
Pyongyang has also carried out a string of ballistic missile tests this year in defiance of U.N. sanctions, which have all 
been condemned by the Security Council.
 
In the unanimously adopted March resolution, the council expressed "its determination to take further significant 
measures in the event of a further DPRK (North Korea) nuclear test or launch."

'Brazen breach'

British UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said there were a series of steps the Security Council could take to respond to Friday's nuclear test and that Britain would like to see a combination of those steps imposed.
 
"First of all, there must be full implementation of the existing sanctions, secondly there could be additional names 
added to the existing sanctions regime ... and thirdly there could be a tightening up and a strengthening of the sanctions regime," Rycroft told reporters ahead of the council meeting.
Ban Ki-moon calls test a 'brazen breach' of international law 1:21

 
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned North Korea's nuclear test on Friday as a "brazen breach" of UN Security Council resolutions.
 
"I count on the Security Council to remain united and take appropriate action. We must urgently break this accelerating 
spiral of escalation," he told reporters.

With files from CBC News