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(3rd LD) PM holds NSC session on nuke test by Pyongyang

All Headlines 15:16 September 09, 2016

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; ADDS photo, details throughout)

SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn chaired an emergency National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Friday, strongly criticizing Pyongyang's fifth nuclear test conducted earlier in the day.

The meeting comes as a magnitude 5 earthquake was detected at North Korea's nuclear site in the country's northeastern region. Pyongyang later confirmed it has conducted its latest nuclear test.

In January, North Korea conducted a fourth nuclear test after its previous tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

"The nuclear test conducted by the North is a violent action against the international goal for denuclearization," Hwang said during the meeting, highlighting President Park Geun-hye also made efforts in her summits with leaders from the United States, China, Japan and Russia to get Pyongyang to denuclearize.

"Along with the international community, the government strongly condemns North Korea's grave provocation," Hwang added.

Hwang presided the meeting as Park is currently staying in Laos.

"North Korea will only get stronger international sanctions as well as diplomatic isolation from nuclear provocations," Hwnag also said.

The prime minister also pointed out that Pyongyang should no longer allocate limited resources on missile developments when its people are living in poverty.

"The South Korean government will mull additional sanctions against the North under the Seoul-Washington alliance, as well as with the U.N. Security Council," Hwang said, adding it will also expand diplomatic efforts to induce all countries to join the action against Pyongyang.

The previous NSC session as held on Aug. 24 after North Korea fired submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).

Hwang also issued special orders to ministries to take necessary action to minimize negative fallout from Pyongyang's fifth nuclear test.

"Ministries should make efforts to prevent negative impact on the public's everyday lives as well as the economy," Hwang said.

The prime minister added each ministry should promptly share necessary information and help the public keep abreast of developments and focus on their livelihood.

Hwang then ordered all public employees to stay alert and be ready to handle emergency developments, especially as Park is currently abroad.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn holds an emergency National Security Council (NSC) meeting in Seoul on Sept. 9, 2016. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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