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Obama calls for 'serious consequences' for N.K. provocations

All Headlines 14:56 September 09, 2016

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Barack Obama called for "serious consequences" for North Korean provocations after the communist nation apparently carried out its fifth nuclear test, according to a White House pool report.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest also told reporters aboard Air Force One that Obama reiterated the "unbreakable U.S. commitment" to allies when he spoke over the phone with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"The president was briefed by National Security Adviser Susan Rice about the reported seismic activity near a nuclear facility in North Korea," Earnest said, according to a pool report. "The president also consulted with President Park of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Abe of Japan in separate phone calls."

Obama "reiterated the unbreakable U.S. commitment to the security of our allies in Asia and around the world, and indicated "he would continue to consult our allies and partners in the days ahead to ensure provocative actions from North Korea are met with serious consequences," Earnest said.

The North conducted yet another nuclear test on its founding anniversary Friday (Korean time), just eight months after its fourth test in January, with seismic signals pointing to an artificial quake near the North's Pyunggye-ri underground nuclear test site.

Moreover, the latest test is believed to be the biggest of all five, with its yield estimated at 10 kilotons of TNT, compared with January's 6 kilotons, according to South Korea's military. The powerful yield demonstrates the regime's nuclear program is making real headway.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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