South Koreans Condemn North’s Nuclear Test

North Korea’s decision to carry out its third nuclear test on Tuesday in defiance of U.N. resolutions was condemned by an association of South Koreans based in Cambodia on Wednesday, who branded the move a “threat [to] world peace.” 

Yang Sung-mo, chairman of the Korean Association of Cambodia, said in a statement that North Korean leader Kim Jung Un was driving the Korean Peninsula toward a catastrophe.

“We, the Korean association and 6,000 Korean residents abroad in Cambodia…resolutely condemn that North Korea…enforce[d] a third nuclear test even though Republic of Korean government, U.N. and international societies were worried,” the statement says.

“We condemn Kim Jung-un, who is driving world peace and our country into catastrophe and are going to cope resolutely with the any sort of threats and derangement of pro-North Korean forces,” it adds.

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s test—which the North said had “greater explosive force” than previous tests—the U.S., Japan and China all expressed their concern.

Members of the Korean Association of Cambodia convened a meeting on Wednesday in the wake of the test, and called for the South Korean government to work more closely with the U.N. to prevent further tests.

A provocative statement issued by North Korea’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday and disseminated by the North Korean Embassy in Phnom Penh on Wednesday defended the decision to conduct the third test.

The test is a “resolute step for self-defense taken by [the North Korean government] to cope with the U.S. hostile act against it,” the statement says, referring to the U.S. role in a U.N. resolution placing sanctions on the country.

“The [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]’s nuclear deterrence has already acquired the trustworthy capability strong enough to make a precision strike at bases for aggression and blow them up at a single blow no matter where they are on the earth,” the statement continues.

All was quiet outside North Korea’s Embassy on Suramarit Boulevard Wednesday morning. Mr. Yang said he had not seen the North Korean statement, but vowed that members of his association would stage a demonstration after they “check to see North Korea’s next step.”

“We will demonstrate outside the embassy or somewhere we are given permission,” he said. “We will follow North Korea’s next step. After that, we will more strongly announce our opinion.”

The South Korean Embassy in Phnom Penh did not return a request for comment.

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