By VOA News September 09, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama condemned North Korea’s nuclear test Friday, calling it “a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability.”
In a White House statement, the president said “North Korea’s provocative and destabilizing actions have instead served to isolate and impoverish its people through its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities.”
Obama said he spoke by phone with both South Korean President Park Geun-Hey and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whom he said agreed to implement new sanctions against the North, “to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions.”
The president also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defend its allies in the region, through the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea.
In announcing its nuclear test, North Korea called it “part of responsive measures to threats and sanctions from the U.S. and enemies denying our strategic position as a nuclear state.”
Hours later, the White House statement reaffirmed the U.S. position on the North’s nuclear programing, saying “the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”
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