Netherlands condemns sixth nuclear test by North Korea

The Netherlands has strongly condemned the nuclear test conducted by North Korea today. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) confirmed the test – North Korea’s sixth – which caused an underground explosion measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale. Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders expressed grave concern at this act of escalation.

‘This is another reckless provocation at a time of mounting international tensions,’ he said. ‘Nuclear tests are completely beyond the pale. They destabilise the region and the wider world, and are unacceptable.’ According to Mr Koenders the regime needs to realise that its provocations will further isolate North Korea and harm its people. ‘It is vital that the UN Security Council meet soon to discuss this issue and take measures,’ he noted. From October, the Netherlands will be an observer on the Council and from January 2018 a member. ‘As a member of the Council, we will be closely involved in this situation. We will follow developments as they unfold and work to resolve the crisis.’

It is essential that countries comply with the Security Council’s existing sanctions against North Korea. ‘The sanctions announced by the UN last month will ramp up the pressure on North Korea, but progress will only be achieved through a sustained, concerted effort by the international community,’ the minister commented.

The Netherlands will continue working at EU and UN level to foster a united and effective approach by the international community. It will also continue contributing to joint pressure and diplomatic efforts aimed at achieving a breakthrough.