Photo Credit: The Fisher Institute For Air and Space Strategic Studies / Twitter
Official North Korea chart of Hwasong-14 warhead structure on September 3, 2017, compared to launch in July 2017

Israel’s foreign ministry issued a stern condemnation of North Korea on Monday for the sixth nuclear test it carried out over the weekend of what the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced was a miniaturized hydrogen bomb designed to fit in the warhead of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

“The State of Israel condemns the nuclear test carried out by North Korea,” the ministry said in its statement. “The test constitutes yet another example of North Korea’s aggressive pattern of behavior. Decisive international response will prevent other countries from behaving in a similar manner,” the ministry added.

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The Israeli government is monitoring the situation closely inasmuch as North Korea maintains a close military and trade relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has pledged to annihilate the Jewish State.

The United Nations Security Council — on which China is seated as one of the five permanent members — began meeting Monday morning (September 4) on North Korea’s latest weapons test in an emergency session called by the United States, Japan, France, the UK and South Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned he would consider, in addition to other options, “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.” China, North Korea’s only significant ally and its biggest trade partner, is considered a pivotal player in the effort to persuade Pyongyang to end its weapons program.

China lodged an official diplomatic protest with North Korea following the test, according to a report by the AFP news agency. Foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told journalists at a regular news briefing that Beijing “launched stern representations with the person in charge of the DPRK embassy in China, saying that “China opposes the DPRK in carrying out nuclear missile development and we are committed to denuclearisation of the peninsula.

“This position is well-known and the DPRK also knows this position perfectly well. The DPRK must be very clear about that, so we hope all parties — especially the DPRK side — could exercise restraint and refrain from further escalating the tensions,” Geng added.

The Nuclear Weapons Institute of the DPRK had boasted of its “complete success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for ICBM” Sunday in a televised statement. “Scientists in the nuclear field of the DPRK successfully carried out a test of the hydrogen bomb for ICBM in the northern nuclear test ground of the DPRK . . . true to the Workers’ Party of Korea’s plan for building a strategic nuclear force,” the Pyongyang government boasted.

The nuclear test caused a man-made magnitude 6.3 earthquake. It is believed the latest weapon is the most powerful weapon North Korea has ever tested. Hours after the test was carried out, the Trump administration warned Sunday of a “massive military response” against North Korea.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned at a news briefing outside the White House following a meeting with President Donald Trump and his national security team, “We have many military options, and the president wanted to be briefed on each one of them. We are not looking to the total annihilation” of North Korea, he said. “We made clear that we have the ability to defense ourselves and our allies, South Korea and Japan from any attack, and our commitments among the allies are iron-clad,” he said.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin added in an interview with Fox News Sunday that a new round of sanctions was also being considered.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.