Skip to main content

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

By Matt Smith, CNN
updated 5:34 AM EST, Mon February 4, 2013
(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
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
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.
updated 1:49 PM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
A defector from the North Korean government says the country's cyberwarfare is more dangerous than its nuclear weaponry.
updated 8:27 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony.
updated 10:43 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
North Korea's fury over "The Interview" appears to have taken the state's oversensitivity to new extremes.
updated 8:57 PM EST, Mon December 8, 2014
A retired Silicon Valley executive and Korean War veteran was hauled off his plane at Pyongyang in 2013. Here's what happened next.
updated 5:57 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
A recent defector from North Korea tells of the harrowing escape into China via Chinese 'snakehead' gangs.
updated 7:39 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
CNN's Amara Walker speaks to a former North Korean prison guard about the abuses he witnessed and was forced to enact on prisoners.
updated 12:59 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
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.
updated 7:34 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Kim Jong Il's former bodyguard tells of the beatings and starvation he endured while imprisoned in the country's most notorious prison camp.
updated 1:43 AM EDT, Sat October 11, 2014
Despite tense relations, China benefits from Kim Jong Un's rule in North Korea. David McKenzie explains.
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system" and citizens have "priceless political integrity," the country declared.
ADVERTISEMENT