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(LEAD) White House condemns any violation of U.N. resolution, vows never to accept N.K. as nuclear state

2016/01/06 14:07

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By Chang Jae-soon

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- The White House said Tuesday that it cannot confirm North Korea's claims of a successful H-bomb test but condemns any violation of U.N. resolutions banning the communist nation from nuclear tests.

It also said that the United States won't accept the North as a nuclear state.

"We are aware of seismic activity on the Korean Peninsula in the vicinity of a known North Korean nuclear test site and have seen Pyongyang's claims of a nuclear test. We are monitoring and continuing to assess the situation in close coordination with our regional partners," White House National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said.

"While we cannot confirm these claims at this time, we condemn any violation of UNSC (U.N. Security Council) Resolutions and again call on North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments," the spokesperson said.

The North conducted its first nuclear test in 2006 and, until today, has done so twice since, he said.

"We have consistently made clear that we will not accept it as a nuclear state. 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," he said.

The North's state media earlier claimed in an English statement that the country successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test, claiming that the communist nation "proudly joined the advanced ranks of nuclear weapons states possessed of even H-bomb."

   The North previously conducted three underground nuclear tests: in 2006, 2009 and 2013. The country has also conducted a series of long-range missile and rocket launches since 1998. In its most recent launch in late 2012, the North succeeded in putting a satellite into orbit.

Analysts have warned that it is only a matter of time until the North develops nuclear-tipped missiles. Some experts have recently warned that the communist nation's nuclear arsenal could expand to as many as 100 bombs by 2020.

The six-party talks aimed at resolving the North Korean standoff have been stalled since late 2008. North Korea demands the unconditional resumption of negotiations, while the U.S. says that Pyongyang must first take concrete steps demonstrating its denuclearization commitments.

jschang@yna.co.kr

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