International reactions and background follow the video of President Obama’s statement:
- President Obama: “Grave concern to all nations.”
- Gordon Brown: “Erroneous, misguided and a danger to the world.”
- European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana: “Provocation and we strongly condemn them.”
- NATO: "These irresponsible actions by Pyongyang pose a serious challenge to peace, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and are being universally condemned by the international community. We call upon Pyongyang to refrain from any other actions which could contribute to raising tensions and to restore dialogue within the Six-Party framework. The Alliance will continue to carefully monitor developments with deep concern."
- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: “I am deeply worried by a report of nuclear test by Democratic Republic of Korea.”
- Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith: “Provocative.”
- The Kremlin: “Deep regret and the most serious concern.”
- Chinese Foreign Ministry: “Resolutely opposed.”
- Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso: “Unacceptable and a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions."
France called on the UN Security Council to impose further sanctions against North Korea and the South Korean Prime Minister Lee Myung-bak called an emergency meeting of cabinet members. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tried to convince the international public that he had nothing to do with North Korea’s nuclear test, declaring, “We oppose the production, the amassing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
— 1994: Under agreement with US, North Korea pledges to freeze and eventually dismantle its nuclear weapons program in exchange for help building two safer power-producing nuclear reactors.
— Aug. 31, 1998: North Korea fires suspected missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean, calling it a satellite.
— Sept. 13, 1999: North pledges to freeze long-range missile tests.
— July 2001: U.S. State Department reports North Korea is developing long-range missile.
— December 2001: President George W Bush warns Iraq and North Korea will be "held accountable" if they develop weapons of mass destruction.
— Jan. 10, 2003: North Korea announces withdrawal from Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
— August 2003: North Korea joins first round of six-nation nuclear talks in Beijing with China, U.S. Japan, Russia and South Korea.
— July 5, 2006: North Korea launches seven missiles into waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan, including a medium-range Taepodong-2.
— July 15, 2006: UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1695 demanding North Korea halt missile program.
— Oct. 9, 2006: North Korea conducts underground nuclear test blast after citing "extreme threat of a nuclear war" from U.S.
— Oct. 15, 2006: UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1718 condemning test, imposing sanctions and banning North Korea from all activities related to its nuclear weapons program.
— Feb. 13, 2007: North Korea agrees to disable its main nuclear facilities in return for energy aid and other benefits.
— July 14, 2007: North Korea shuts down main Yongbyon reactor, later starts disabling it.
— June 27, 2008: North Korea destroys cooling tower at Yongbyon.
— Sept. 19, 2008: North Korea says it is restoring nuclear facilities at Yongbyon.
— Oct. 11, 2008: U.S. removes North Korea from a list of states that sponsor terrorism.
— Feb. 15, 2009: North Korea claims it has the right to "space development."
— Feb. 23: South Korea says North Korea has a new type of ballistic missile capable of reaching northern Australia and Guam.
— April 5: North Korea launches long-range rocket from its base on the country's northeast coast.
— April 13: UN Security Council condemns launch.
— April 14: North Korea announces withdrawal from disarmament talks and says it will restore partly disabled nuclear facilities.
— April 25: North Korea announces start of reprocessing of spent fuel rods from its nuclear plant. A UN Security Council committee approves new sanctions on three major North Korean companies in response to the rocket launch.
— April 29: North Korea threatens to conduct nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests unless the UN Security Council apologizes for criticizing its long-range rocket launch.
— May 7-12: Special U.S. envoy on North Korea visits Asia, says Washington is ready for direct talks with Pyongyang.
— May 8: North Korea dismisses talks with U.S. as useless, citing Washington's "hostile policy".
— May 25: North Korea announces it successfully conducted a nuclear test.
It is obvious that North Korea did not keep an account of what the majority of ‘others’ said, but the following days will show us to what extent Obama Administration’s leadership and effectiveness in handling the situation can bring a solution which can allay and satisfy its partners. All eyes are now looking curiously for the next line in the timeline of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs…