Reported Nuclear Test a Setback for Global Stability

Having met with high-level DPRK officials in Pyongyang twice within the past 20 months to urge progress toward the goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, I find today's announcement disturbing.

Pyongyang's reported testing of a nuclear device is a setback for stability in Asia that threatens the global effort to halt the spread of such horrible weapons. This reprehensible step will only isolate North Korea from its neighbors and delay the day when the DPRK wins international respect and security. It is a foolish risk with no lasting benefits.

The countries that have wrestled with the DPRK over the nuclear issue at the Six Party Talks must now meet without Pyongyang's representatives. China, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States must immediately craft a multilateral package of international sanctions to be approved by the UN Security Council and insist that the sanctions be fully implemented. If Beijing is unwilling to host such a meeting, we should arrange it in Washington and ensure that all parties are represented at the highest levels. The leadership of North Korea must be made to understand that it cannot get away with this kind of dangerous and provocative behavior.