By Kristina Wong - 01/06/16 11:36 AM EST
The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday called for the U.S. to respond "resolutely" to North Korea's nuclear test.
“Today's reported nuclear test by North Korea is yet another indication of North Korea’s determination to continue to defy the international community and the threat it poses to regional peace and stability," said Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinGOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Dems take over floor to protest Senate inaction on gun control Voinovich led charge against anti-Semitism MORE (D-Md.).
Cardin said he will work with others in the Senate on legislation to impose additional sanctions on North Korea and also urged the United Nations Security Council to impose additional sanctions.
Sen. Bob MenendezRobert MenendezOvernight Cybersecurity: Senate narrowly rejects expanding FBI surveillance powers Senate narrowly rejects new FBI surveillance Kaine, Murphy push extension of Iran sanctions MORE (D-N.J.), a senior member of the panel, echoed those calls, saying that North Korea's nuclear detonation claims "must be met with firm action and a clear effort to halt Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions."
North Korea announced Wednesday morning it conducted a successful test of a hydrogen bomb, which would violate Security Council resolutions.
"If there's no invasion on our sovereignty we will not use nuclear weapon," North Korea’s state news agency said, according to CNN. "This H-bomb test brings us to a higher level of nuclear power."
So far, U.S. officials and lawmakers say they are monitoring and continuing to assess the situation in close coordination with regional partners.
State Department spokesman John Kirby late Tuesday said the U.S. could not immediately confirm North Korea's test claims but called on Pyongyang to abide by its international obligations and commitments.
"We have consistently made clear that we will not accept it as a nuclear state," he said. "We will continue to protect and defend our allies in the region, including the Republic of Korea, and will respond appropriately to any and all North Korean provocations."
Meanwhile, Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanRangel: Trump puts Ryan in tough spot Dems find voice with disruption Democrats plan 'day of action' to keep spotlight on guns MORE (R-Wis.) said that while all the facts aren't known yet, "this looks like a provocation."
"We have to have a well-honed response with our allies on this world regime," he said.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Wednesday that if North Korea indeed detonated a nuclear device, it would be a "grave breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a provocation which I condemn without reservation."
"We will be working with other U.N. Security Council members to ensure the international community responds urgently and decisively to this latest activity."
Hammond, who is currently in Beijing, said he and his Chinese counterpart have agreed to work with other members of the U.N. Security Council "towards a robust international response."