Norway blasts North Korea’s nuclear test

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The Norwegian government was quick to join most of the rest of the world in condemning North Korea’s second nuclear test on Monday. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that North Korea was “showing a need for attention” and urged renewed efforts to deal with the secretive regime.

“The United Nations will also certainly condemn the nuclear test,” Støre told NRK. “We’re dealing with a country that has done this to get others to pay attention. Now it’s important for responsible nations to step in and stop this.”

He noted that “this is the world’s most special and locked regime, which doesn’t respond to signals like other countries do.” Støre nonetheless thinks it’s possible to restore diplomatic contact with North Korea.

“Diplomatic measures were used the last time this happened, and should be able to be used again,” he said.

Jan Egeland, a former UN envoy who now heads the foreign policy research institute NUPI in Oslo, said it’s “important that the world reacts together” and that China has a “key role” to play because North Korea still listens to Chinese leaders.

Egeland noted, however, that North Korea is led by “quite irrational” officials who are “willing to gamble with their entire population” to be heard.

North Korea’s state news agency announced its second underground nuclear test about an hour after the US Geological Survey reported a magnitude 4.7 seismic disturbance at the site of North Korea’s first nuclear test in October 2006. US and British officials condemned the announcement, with the White House issuing a statement that “the danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants action by the international community.”