Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday he expected the UN Security Council to agree on “an adequate response” to North Korea’s controversial nuclear test.
“Such actions that are worth condemnation require an adequate response,” he said via a translator on a visit to Pretoria.
Hours later the 15-member UN Security Council “strongly condemned” the blast after emergency talks on the new proliferation crisis.
Permanent members — the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France — all denounced North Korea. Pyongyang’s ally China even summoned the North’s ambassador to Beijing to lodge a protest.
Russia’s foreign ministry earlier slammed the test as “contempt for UN Security Council resolutions”.
It was “doubly sad” that the nuclear test was carried out by a government “with which our country has had a long history of good-neighbourly relations”.
“North Korea should stop its nuclear programme and should get back onto the non-proliferation treaty,” Lavrov said.
“Then it will stop its international isolation.”
Russia further expected “North Korea to assume full responsibility for its actions”, Lavrov added later in the day from the Mozambican capital Maputo.
“It is necessary for a joint effort to stabilise the situation while considering international rules, the legitimate rights of each country in the region,” he said through an interpreter.
He also called on “everyone to join the negotiating table to work out the denuclearisation of this area”.
The reclusive communist state carried out a third nuclear test in defiance of stark international warnings.
North Korea’s foreign ministry said the test was only a first step against US “hostility” and that any tightening of sanctions would trigger “even stronger second or third rounds of action.”
The explosion had a yield of six to seven kilotons, significantly more than the 2006 and 2009 tests, the South Korean government said.
The explosive yield compared with 15 kilotons in the world’s first atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in 1945.