BRUSSELS, FRANCE — European Commission president Donald Tusk called for “swift and decisive” reaction to the latest nuclear tests carried out this weekend by North Korea.
In a statement on Sunday, Tusk said the EU is calling on the U.N. Security Council “to adopt further U.N. sanctions and show stronger resolve to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” adding, “The stakes are getting too high.”
Tusk said North Korea must abandon its nuclear weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a verifiable and irreversible manner and it must cease all related activities at once in order to avoid a military response.
Response has also been coming in throughout the day from political leaders in the U.S. who were quick to condemn the latest round of tests, which based on the tremors that followed the test, had an explosive yield of approximately 120 kilotons. By comparison, the nuclear bomb dropped at Hiroshima’s had 15 kilotons.
“Well, what we have been doing over the years has certainly not slowed the advance of their nuclear program, but I don’t think that harsh rhetoric does either,” Jeff Flake, (R)- Arizona, said on Sunday. ” I think that they’re moving. Certainly, sanctions are — are not, you know, arresting that development either. So just about nothing we have done so far has helped slow it down. They seem intent on moving forward. Obviously, we hope that China exercises its leverage. They have considerably more leverage than we do. But I think, given where they are, we see the limits of economic sanctions obviously on North Korea.”
Ben Sasse, (R) – Nebraska, echoed Flake’s comments and said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “must be confronted”.
“If North Korea has in fact successfully tested a nuclear warhead that can be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile, Kim Jong-un is clearly threatening the American people,” Sasse said on Sunday. “He must be confronted. The United States, our allies and partners, and those who are still enabling Pyongyang must confront and change Kim Jong-un’s calculus of terror. Diplomatically if we can. Militarily if we must.”