Lawmakers slam North for 5th test

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Lawmakers slam North for 5th test

South Korean lawmakers on Wednesday adopted a resolution condemning North Korea for its fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9, warning that nuclear provocation will only further isolate it from the international community and earn it stronger sanctions.

The resolution was passed with unanimous bipartisan support. Of the 203 lawmakers who cast votes, 200 voted in favor while three abstained.

The resolution warns the North that its nuclear developments constitute a “serious provocation” threatening the safety of South Koreans and global stability.

“The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea affirms its position against North Korea’s possession of a nuclear arsenal,” the resolution stated, “and strongly urges the North to terminate all nuclear-related programs, including nuclear facilities and material.”

The resolution also called on the Park Geun-hye government to come up with stronger and better enforced sanctions in collaboration with the international community. Lawmakers also demanded that the military prepare counterattacks in the form of nuclear threats and missiles launched from underwater submarines.

The resolution’s passage on Wednesday came 12 days after North Korea carried out its fifth underground nuclear test in blatant disregard for repeated international warnings and the toughest-ever sanctions imposed in March against the totalitarian state.

While lawmakers displayed rare unity in criticizing the North, it is unclear how much sway the resolution could have on the North. North Korea on Tuesday boasted of a successful ground test of a high-powered rocket engine that it said is designed for stationary satellites, but experts say this is a cover for its development of a long-range missile that could fly across the Pacific to target the United States.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]

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