President Obama issues statment on North Korea's defiant nuclear test

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The following statement is from President Barack Obama in regards to North Korea's latest nuclear test.

The United States condemns North Korea's September 9 nuclear test in the strongest possible terms as a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability.

North Korea stands out as the only country to have tested nuclear weapons this century.

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Today's test, North Korea's second this year, follows an unprecedented campaign of ballistic missile launches, which North Korea claims are intended to serve as delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons targeting the United States and our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

As Commander in Chief, I have a responsibility to safeguard the American people and ensure that the United States is leading the international community in responding to this threat and North Korea's other provocations with commensurate resolve and condemnation.

To be clear, the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state. Far from achieving its stated national security and economic development goals, North Korea's provocative and destabilizing actions have instead served to isolate and impoverish its people through its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities.

Inside North Korea's nuclear facilities:

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North Korean nuclear facilities
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North Korean nuclear facilities
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - JULY 2, 2015: Figure 3. Transformer Yard at the ELWR. Date: July 2, 2015. Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. Mandatory credit: Image © 2015 DigitalGlobe Inc./38 North.
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - JULY 2, 2015: Figure 4. Construction at the Uranium Enrichment Facility. Date: July 2, 2015. Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. Mandatory credit: Image © 2015 DigitalGlobe Inc./38 North.
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - JULY 2, 2015: Figure 1. Vehicles at the 5 MWe Reactor. Date: July 2, 2015. Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. Mandatory credit: Image © 2015 DigitalGlobe Inc./38 North.
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - APRIL 29, 2015: Figure 2. Probable CO2 truck seen at the 5 MWe Reactor in April. Date April 29, 2015. Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. Mandatory credit: Image © 2015 DigitalGlobe Inc./38 North.
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - May 24, 2015: Figure 4. Continued construction at the uranium enrichment facility. Note: image rotated. Date: May 24, 2015. Published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 4, 2014: This is Figure 3 -- DigitalGlobe imagery shows new activity seen at the Radiochemical Laboratory. Note: image rotated -- published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - JANUARY 11, 2015: This is Figure 4B. ELWR activity in January 2015. Note: image rotated. Date: January 11, 2015 -- published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - May 24, 2015: Figure 3: 5 MWe Reactor on May 24vehicles present, no indications of steam or water discharge. Note: image rotated. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - May 24, 2015: Figure 2. Power line service to 5 MWe Reactor area. Note: image rotated. Date: May 24, 2015. Published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - OCTOBER 28, 2014: This is Figure 1 -- DigitalGlobe imagery of the 5 MWe Reactor appears to still be shutdown -- published on 38 North. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - MARCH 27th, 2015: Figure 6a. Construction material visible at the Main Support Area at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in North Korea. Date: March 27, 2015. (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
PUNGGYE-RI NUCLEAR TEST SITE, NORTH KOREA - MAY 16, 2015: Figure 6b. An old building has been re-roofed and a new building has been erected at the Main Support Area at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in North Korea. Date: May 16, 2015 (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 7, 2013: This is Figure 9. a time progression of the experimental light water reactor (ELWR) development at the Yongbyon Nuclear Facility in North Korea. Featured in “Start-Up of North Korean Experimental Light Water Reactor Could Begin by Mid-2013 If Fuel is Available,” published on 38 North. Figure 9: February 7, 2013 (reactor building complete, cleanup underway). (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
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Today's nuclear test, a flagrant violation of multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, makes clear North Korea's disregard for international norms and standards for behavior and demonstrates it has no interest in being a responsible member of the international community.

Last night I returned from the G-20 and East Asia Summit meetings in Asia, where my counterparts and I were united in our call for North Korea to return to the path of denuclearization. Upon hearing the news of the test, I had the opportunity to consult separately via phone with Republic of Korea (ROK) President Park Geun-Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

More on the G-20 summit:

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G20 Summit 2016 in China, leaders arrive
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G20 Summit 2016 in China, leaders arrive
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at Hangzhou Xiaoshan international airport before the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R), his wife Sophie Gregoire and their daughter Ella-Grace arrive at the Hangzhou Xiaoshan international airport before the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
Saudi Arabia Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
French President Francois Hollande arrives at Hangzhou Xiaoshan international airport before the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Chance Chan
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi steps out of the plane as he arrives at the Hangzhou Xiaoshan international airport before the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan (R) arrives at the Hangzhou Exhibition Center to participate to G20 Summit, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Etienne Oliveau/Pool
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto arrives at the Hangzhou Exhibition Center to participate to G20 Summit, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex Dela Pena/Pool
Brazilian President Michel Temer (C) arrives arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rolex dela Pena/Pool
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We agreed to work with the UN Security Council, our other Six-Party partners, and the international community to vigorously implement existing measures imposed in previous resolutions, and to take additional significant steps, including new sanctions, to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions.

I restated to President Park and Prime Minister Abe the unshakable U.S. commitment to take necessary steps to defend our allies in the region, including through our deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to the ROK, and the commitment to provide extended deterrence, guaranteed by the full spectrum of U.S. defense capabilities.

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