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Pres. Lee orders emergency mode after NK`s nuke test

Posted February. 13, 2013 05:09,   


President Lee Myung-bak shifted the government into emergency mode Tuesday soon after being debriefed on North Korea’s third nuclear test, including the convening of a National Security Council meeting at the national crisis management situation room in the underground bunker of the presidential office.

In talks that lasted 80 minutes from 1 p.m., President Lee blasted the test as “a threat that cannot be acceptable for peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.” He ordered the government to prepare comprehensive measures to seek global collaboration on the matter. At 10 p.m. Monday, the U.S. reportedly informed South Korea of the North’s test.

In a government statement released after the security council meeting, Chun Young-woo, President Lee`s senior secretary for foreign affairs and national security, said, “The North’s conducting of a nuclear test is a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions 1718, 1874 and 2087,” adding, “The North will inevitably face grave responsibility for all consequences caused by this act of aggression. We will further accelerate efforts to expand military capability, including early deployment of missiles that can strike all of North Korean territory.” The South Korean military upped its military preparedness level from Level 3 to 2 soon after the test.

Presidential spokesman Park Jeong-ha said the president and his soon-to-be successor Park Geun-hye held a closed emergency meeting at the presidential office for 23 minutes from 3 p.m. Both agreed to maintain a steadfast North Korea policy over the presidential transition period and thus expressed determination to curb any additional provocations by Pyongyang after the nuclear test to the extent possible.

President-elect Park in the meeting condemned North Korea for proceeding with the nuclear test, saying, “The North has chosen to isolate itself internationally by pushing ahead with the nuclear test despite strong warnings and dissuasion by South Korea and the international community."

In New York, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting at the world body`s headquarters at 9 a.m. Tuesday, and started discussions on strong sanctions against the North for the test. The meeting was convened after South Korea, which is the council’s chair-country for February, informed council members of the North`s act less than an hour after news reports broke the story on the nuclear test.