Skip to main content

U.S., allies warn North Korea against 'provocative' moves

By Matt Smith, CNN
February 4, 2013 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
(File) A nuclear test site and water cooling plant are pictured in North Korea.
(File) A nuclear test site and water cooling plant are pictured in North Korea.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S., South Korea and Japan warn of "significant consequences" after a bomb test
  • U.S. officials say a new North Korean nuclear test could come at any time
  • South Korea's president tells his government to be prepared

(CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts warned North Korea against any "provocative" moves Sunday ahead of a possible new nuclear bomb test by Pyongyang.

Opinion: For South Koreans, a familiar tone from Pyongyang

In a round of calls Sunday, Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korea's Kim Sung-hwan all agreed the North must understand "that it will face significant consequences from the international community if it continues its provocative behavior," according to a summary of the calls from the U.S. State Department.

Inside a North Korean school in Japan

Earlier Sunday, North Korea announced that its leader, Kim Jong Un, "has made an important decision" that would strengthen the country. The brief statement on the state-run news agency KCNA provided no details, but it said the decision was made at a meeting of the reclusive Stalinist state's Party Central Military Committee.

Pyongyang threatens South Korea
Region braces for North Korea nuke test
Space race on Korean Peninsula

Across the Demilitarized Zone, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak called on his government to be prepared for a possible test. Lee paid a visit to the underground bunker that serves as the South's crisis management center, his press office reported.

South Koreans cast wary eyes to the North

North Korea has conducted two previous nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009, and proclaimed itself a "nuclear state" in 2012. U.S. officials told CNN last week that the North appeared to be ready test another nuclear device "at any time."

U.S. analysts believe the 2006 test had a yield of about 1 kiloton -- comparable to the explosive power of about 1,000 tons of TNT -- while the second was roughly 2 kilotons, National Intelligence Director James Clapper told a Senate committee in 2012.

By comparison, the bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 was roughly 15 kilotons.

Where North Korea stands in its pursuit of a nuclear missile

The U.N. Security Council voted to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang in January, after the North launched a satellite aboard a long-range rocket in December.

The North Koreans responded by announcing they planned another nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches as part of a new phase of confrontation with the United States.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
A defector from the North Korean government says the country's cyberwarfare is more dangerous than its nuclear weaponry.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1327 GMT (2127 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
North Korea's fury over "The Interview" appears to have taken the state's oversensitivity to new extremes.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 0157 GMT (0957 HKT)
A retired Silicon Valley executive and Korean War veteran was hauled off his plane at Pyongyang in 2013. Here's what happened next.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1057 GMT (1857 HKT)
A recent defector from North Korea tells of the harrowing escape into China via Chinese 'snakehead' gangs.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
CNN's Amara Walker speaks to a former North Korean prison guard about the abuses he witnessed and was forced to enact on prisoners.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0559 GMT (1359 HKT)
The chief of the Commission of Inquiry into North Korea's human rights says the world can no longer plead ignorance to the regime's offenses.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
Kim Jong Il's former bodyguard tells of the beatings and starvation he endured while imprisoned in the country's most notorious prison camp.
October 11, 2014 -- Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)
Despite tense relations, China benefits from Kim Jong Un's rule in North Korea. David McKenzie explains.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 0851 GMT (1651 HKT)
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system" and citizens have "priceless political integrity," the country declared.
ADVERTISEMENT