China’s Foreign Ministry has summoned North Korea’s ambassador today to deliver a public statement of condemnation for their Monday night nuclear test. China’s state media had warned against such a test and raised the prospect of cutting aid if they followed through.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry didn’t address the aid directly today, but said they delivered a message of “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to the nuclear test, urging North Korea to abandon the program and return to peace talks.
Other nations of course were just as loud in their condemnations but as materially North Korea’s only ally China’s comments count for much more, and the threats by other nations for sanctions are extremely limited, as those sanctions are by and large already in place.
The UN Security Council was quick to approve a statement of strong condemnation for last night’s North Korean nuclear weapons test, with several nations following that with further statements of criticism.
The Obama Administration termed the test a “highly provocative act,” while Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called it a “serious threat” to the United States. Russian officials demanded the North Korean program be immediately ended.
Even Israel chimed in, declaring their “grave concerns” that North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons cannot be tolerated. Israel is one of only a handful of nations that have refused to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and have developed nuclear weapons on their own.