Obama Calls NKorea Nuke Test ‘Highly Provocative’

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The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, California Republican Ed Royce, released a statement Tuesday calling on the Obama administration to “replace its failed North Korea policy” and issue “stringent sanctions” against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime. “Otherwise, the grave North Korean threat to the region and the United States will only grow,” Royce said.

The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday morning on North Korea’s nuclear test. South Korea’s U.N. Mission informed reporters early Tuesday that the closed-door meeting will begin at 9 a.m. EST.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed North Korea’s “continued provocative rhetoric” in a phone call with China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. That followed earlier conversations with Kerry’s counterparts from Japan and South Korea, key U.S. allies in the region.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the three conversations “were remarkably similar” on the importance of implementing the commitments of a January U.N. resolution that toughened sanctions against Pyongyang and warned of “significant action” if it conducted a nuclear test. That resolution was supported by China, North Korea’s only major ally.

On Tuesday, China expressed firm opposition to the test but called for a calm response by all sides.

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