14 February 2013, 10:06

Obama pledges to defend Japan with US nuclear umbrella

Obama pledges to defend Japan with US nuclear umbrella

President Barack Obama promised Wednesday a "steadfast" commitment to defend Japan under the US nuclear umbrella in the wake of North Korea's nuclear test, the White House said.

In a telephone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama "reaffirmed that the United States remains steadfast in its defense commitments to Japan, including the extended deterrence offered by the US nuclear umbrella," a White House statement said. 

US, Japan seek new sanctions against Pyongyang 

The US and Japan are going to press for new sanctions against North Korea after it carried out its third underground nuclear explosion on February 12.

Japan’s Prime Minister offered Barack Obama to put North Korea in the list of countries supporting terrorism from which it was previously excluded in 2008.

Japan’s Defence Minister experts believe that the results of the third nuclear test could be used by Pyongyang to produce a small nuclear bomb.

S Korea unveils cruise missile that can hit North's leaders 

South Korea unveiled a cruise missile on Thursday that it said can hit the office of North Korea's leaders, trying to address concerns that it is technologically behind its unpredictable rival which this week conducted its third nuclear test.

South Korean officials declined to say the exact range of the missile but said it could hit targets anywhere in North Korea.

The Defence Ministry released video footage of the missiles being launched from destroyers and submarines striking mock targets. The weapon was previewed in April last year and officials said deployment was now complete.

"The cruise missile being unveiled today is a precision-guided weapon that can identify and strike the window of the office of North Korea's leadership," ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said told reporters.

North Korea has forged ahead with long-range missile development, successfully launching a rocket in December that put a satellite into orbit.

S. Korea deploys cruise missiles on N. Korean border

South Korea has deployed cruise missiles on the North Korean border, missiles that can hit targets anywhere in North Korea. This came in a statement for journalists by an official of the South Korean Defence Ministry, Kim Min Sok.

According to him, Seoul will also speed up the development of ballistic missiles with an effective range of 800 kilometres and will set up a national missile defence system.

The statement came in the wake of Pyongyang’s underground nuclear test on the February 12. North Korea’s test has triggered bitter criticism from several countries, as well as the UN Security Council.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also urged that North Korea’s nuclear test should not be used as a pretext for whipping up war hysteria and that the six-way talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula should instead be resumed.

S. Korea to speed up development of ballistic missile

South Korea will speed up the development of a ballistic missile with an effective range of up to 800 kilometres that will be able to reach any target in North Korea.

A spokesman for the Defence Ministry has told a news briefing in Seoul that South Korea will also try to create at an early date a system of detecting and wiping out North Korean missiles.

The moves some as Seoul’s response to Pyongyang’s third nuclear test on the 12th of this month.

North Korea has come under bitter criticism be several countries and the UN Security Council for the test. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also urged that North Korea’s latest nuclear test should not be used as a pretext for whipping up war hysteria, and that the six-way talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula should be resumed instead.

UNSC condemns N.Korea test, vows action

The UN Security Council on Tuesday "strongly condemned" North Korea's third nuclear test and vowed to take action against Pyongyang, the president of the Security Council said.

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned this test, which is a grave violation of Security Councilresolutions," South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, whose country is president of the council this month, told reporters. He said the council would now consider "appropriate measures."

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said that Washington and its allies intended to "augment the sanctions regime" already in place due to Pyongyang's 2006 and 2009 atomic tests.

N.Korea faces 'increasing isolation and pressure': US envoy

North Korea will face "increasing isolation and pressure" because of its third nuclear test, the US envoy to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said after the UN Security Council condemned Pyongyang.

Rice told reporters the 15-member body would start immediate talks on new sanctions.

North Korea's actions "will not be tolerated and they will be met with North Korea's increasing isolation and pressure under United Nations sanctions," she said.

N.Korea a 'serious threat' to US - Pentagon chief

North Korea is a "serious threat" to the United States and Washington must be prepared to deal with it, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Tuesday after Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test.

"We saw what North Korea has done these last few weeks with a missile test and now a nuclear test," the outgoing defense secretary said at a farewell ceremony. "North Korea represents a serious threat to the US. We've got to be prepared to deal with that."

UNSC opens emergency talks on N.Korea

The UN Security Council on Tuesday opened emergency talks on North Korea's nuclear test, as world powers called for swift action against Pyongyang.

The 15-nation council passed a resolution last month threatening "significant action" against North Korea in the event of a new nuclear test or missile launch.

Putin’s aide pushes N Korea to give up nuclear program

Russian President’s aide Yuri Ushakov has called on the international community to condemn and oppose North Korea’s nuclear tests.

Mr. Ushakov voiced Moscow’s demand that Pyongyang stop its “illegal activities” and scrapped its rocket and atomic program.

He called on North Korea to abide by the Non-Proliferation Treaty and IAEA provisions, saying that the Russian intelligence were closely monitoring Korea’s nuclear program and kept President Putin up to date on any new A-bomb tests on the Korean Peninsila.

N Korea warns of follow-up action to counter US ‘hostility

North Korea's Foreign Ministry said its nuclear test on Tuesday was an act of self-defence in response to hostility from the United States and that it will take stronger follow-up actions if Washington keeps up its belligerence.

"This nuclear test was only the first response we took with maximum restraint," an unnamed spokesman for the ministry, which acts as Pyongyang's official voice to the outside world, said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

"If the United States continues to come out with hostility and complicates the situation, we will be forced to take stronger, second and third responses in consecutive steps."

Voice of Russia, TF, TASS, RIA, Interfax, Reuters, AFP

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