Trump slams North Korea as ‘rogue nation’ after alleged successful nuclear test
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Trump slams North Korea as ‘rogue nation’ after alleged successful nuclear test

UNITED STATES President Donald Trump has joined an international chorus of criticism against the North Korean regime, after Pyongyang claimed it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded onto a long-range missile.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that the “words and actions” of Kim Jong Un’s regime “continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.” The president added that the North had become an “embarrassment” to its ally China and that South Korea’s “talk of appeasement” was pointless.

North Korea said it had tested an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile on Sunday, setting off a manmade earthquake near the test site.

Japanese and South Korean officials said that tremor was about 10 times more powerful than the one picked up after the nation’s last nuclear test a year ago. The launch was described as a “perfect success” in a report from the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

SEE ALSO: North Korea: Conflicting US strategy as Trump claims ‘talking is not the answer’

“This statement, at this hour, will do years’ worth of damage to trust in the United States among our allies in this region,” tweeted Aaron Connelly, a prominent Research Fellow at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, has argued for continuing dialogue with its neighbour over its nuclear programme, while also supporting international sanctions.

Moon’s key security advisor Chung Eui-yong said on Sunday that Seoul would push for new, powerful sanctions to “completely” isolate the North. “President Moon Jae-in said the country will never allow North Korea to continue advancing its nuclear and missile technologies,” he said as quoted by state news agency Yonhap.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that “Ignoring the international community’s repeated warnings, North Korea has pushed ahead with a nuclear test. Japan cannot accept such conduct.”

“Today’s nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is an extremely regrettable act … Once again, I strongly urge the DPRK to fully implement all relevant resolutions,” said Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog.


Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons programme in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, on Sept 3, 2017. Source: KCNA via Reuters

“The Agency continues to closely follow developments in the DPRK’s nuclear programme, which is a matter of grave concern.”

Last week, the North launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan in a move criticised by the United Nations as “outrageous.” It has said it plans to launch a missile at the US Pacific territory of Guam next.

SEE ALSO: North Korea vows to hit Guam next, as UN condemns ‘outrageous’ missile launch

In early August, the president spoke of “fire and fury” if North Korea so much as threatened the US – which it promptly did.

As Trump was threatening the regime, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was continuing a message of “peaceful pressure” aimed at systematically cutting off Pyongyang’s sources of financial and diplomatic support.

Just days after Trump’s threat to the North, both Tillerson and Defence Secretary Mattis wrote an opinion piece published by the Wall Street Journal assuring Pyongyang that “the US has no interest in regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea.”

Additional reporting by Reuters