Kabul strongly condemns Pyongyang's nuke test
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan on Friday joined the international community in strongly condemning North Korea's recent nuclear test, calling the reported February 12 action in violation of UN's resolutions.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said North Korea ignored repeated calls from its neighbours and other states in the region and beyond.
The UN Security Council on Thursday responded swiftly to North Korea's latest nuclear test by punishing the regime with tough, new sanctions targeting its economy and leadership.
The penalties in a unanimous resolution drafted by the US along with China sent a powerful message to North Korea's new young leader, Kim Jong Un. "Taken together, these sanctions will bite, and bite hard," US Ambassador Susan Rice remarked.
The new sanctions came in response to North Korea's underground nuclear test on Feb. 12 and were the fourth set imposed by the UN since the country's first test in 2006.
"This nuclear test represents a grave challenge to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and constitutes a serious threat to the peace and security of North Korea's neighbours, the rest of the Northeast Asia region and countries beyond," the Afghan foreign ministry said.
It added the Afghan government had called on the North Korean government to refrain from such actions, implement relevant UNSC resolutions and make every effort to resolve all outstanding issues with its neighbours through peaceful dialogue.
The sanctions are aimed at reining in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development by requiring all countries to freeze financial transactions or services that could contribute to the programmes.
North Korea kept up its warlike rhetoric Friday after the UN vote, issuing a statement saying it was canceling a hotline and a nonaggression pact with rival South Korea.
North Korea's nuclear programme has been a source of great concern for the international community for more than 20 years.
South and North Korea agreed in a 1992 joint declaration not to produce, test or use nuclear weapons. North Korea has since conducted three nuclear tests.
The state is now believed to have conducted three underground nuclear tests. It says that the latest, widely-anticipated third test involved a "miniaturised" nuclear device.
Previous tests were in 2006 and 2009, and all of them appear to have originated at a test site called Punggye-ri, also known as P'unggye-yok, in a remote area in the east of the country, near the town of Kilju.
Multiple rounds of international negotiations amid a strict sanctions regime - a process, which has been described as a game of cat and mouse - appear to have done little to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
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