North Korea tested its sixth and largest nuclear bomb on September 3 — a device it said was a hydrogen bomb — though this claim has yet to be verified by scientists outside the communist state. Whether it was a hydrogen bomb or atomic bomb, it was nevertheless four to sixteen times more powerful than any the North had set off previously, Western experts determined.
The New York Times reported that the United States Geological Survey estimated that the tremor set off by the blast had a magnitude of 6.3. The South Korean Defense Ministry’s estimate was much lower, at 5.7, but even that would mean a blast “five to six times” as powerful as the North’s last nuclear test, a year ago, said Lee Mi-sun, a senior analyst at the South Korean Meteorological Administration.
The test drew immediate negative reactions from other nations, including communist China, North Korea’s principal main ally and largest trading partner.
During a press conference held by China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang on September 4, a reporter asked: “First, was China informed beforehand of this nuclear test? Second, what China has done to prevent the nuclear test by the DPRK? Third, Has the Foreign Ministry summoned the DPRK’s Ambassador to China to protest against this nuclear test? Fourth, what measures will China take given that the DPRK has carried out a nuclear test?”
Regarding your first question, China stays committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and opposition to the DPRK’s nuclear and missile development. This position is known to all, and the DPRK has been very clear about this.
As to the second question, for a long time, we have made enormous efforts and done a lot to promote the peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue through dialogue and negotiation. We have put forward the “dual-track” approach and the “suspension-for-suspension” proposal, maintained communication with various parties on this, helped them to work for the shared goal and tried to cool down the situation as soon as possible.
On the third question, the Chinese government has immediately expressed its solemn position through the Foreign Ministry’s statement. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has lodged stern representations with the principal of the DPRK’s Embassy in China.
As for the fourth question, China has always comprehensively and strictly implemented the relevant UN Security Council’s DPRK-related resolutions. We are fulfilling our due international obligations, at the same time, we will continue to approach the relevant issue with the principle of helping realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and uphold peace and stability there.
It is interesting that China has expressed support for the UN Security Council resolutions. Many analysts believe that the main purpose of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs is to give the world's power brokers a pretext for strengthening the UN. As The New Americans’ Foreign Correspondent, Alex Newman, noted in an article in the August 21 of the magazine’s print edition:
Far from being “alone,” the communist regime in North Korea has had friends in high places from the beginning, and still does today. First and foremost, the regime is a puppet and close ally of the powerful communist dictatorship enslaving mainland China’s 1.3 billion people — a regime that is increasingly projecting its power globally.
If China truly supports UN sanctions, then allowing its puppet to engage in provocative actions such as nuclear and missile tests is a convenient way to justify the imposition of those sanctions and to strengthen the world body.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 5 condemned North Korea’s nuclear test but also warned against using military force against the communist state, calling it a “road to nowhere” that could lead to a “global catastrophe.”
Putin, who was in China for the BRICS summit (participated in by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), told reporters that he had said to one of his counterparts at the talks that North Korea “will eat grass but will not give up the [nuclear] program if they don't feel safe.”
Putin said it was important that all parties affected by the crisis, including North Korea, not face “threats of annihilation” and instead “step on the path of cooperation.”
An AP report stated that the UN Security Council held its second emergency meeting about North Korea in a week on September 4, with U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley saying the Pyongyang regime’s actions show that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is “begging for war,” and the time has come for the Security Council to adopt the strongest diplomatic measures.
“Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited,” Haley said.
President Trump, when asked in Washington if he would attack North Korea, replied, “We’ll see.”
In remarks made after a White House meeting with Trump and other national security officials, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters that the United States does not seek the “total annihilation” of North Korea, but also added, “We have many options to do so.”
Photo of Kim Jong Un: AP Images