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The Peninsula

Comprehensive List of the International Community’s Response to North Korea’s Missile and Nuclear Tests

Published March 4, 2016
Category: North Korea

On January 6 North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test and its second successful satellite launch on February 7, 2016. The following is a collection of the international response to these two actions.

United States

  • January 6, 2016 – South Korea and the U.S. has stepped up joint defense readiness by increasing surveillance activities to monitor the North Korean military. Defense Ministry spokesperson Kim Min-seok held a press briefing in which he stated that the “military held a teleconference of commanders and shared information on the current situation while enhancing the vigilance posture against North Korea”. The U.S. Air Force reportedly sent its WC-135 aircraft from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa to detect any residual radioactivity over the Korean Peninsula.
  • January 10, 2016 – A B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber from U.S. Andersen Air Force Base flies over South Korea in a show of force.
  • January 12, 2016 – U.S. House of Representatives passes a North Korea sanctions bill sharpening punitive actions against North Korea.
  • January 13, 2016 – President Obama decides not to mention North Korea in his final State of the Union address to deprive North Korean leader of the attention that he wants.
  • January 19, 2016 – U.S. Navy deploys another nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to East Asia in an apparent show of force to North Korea as well as towards China on the South China Sea issue.
  • January 20, 2016 – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges China to impose trade sanctions on North Korea in response and to show leadership.
  • January 28, 2016 – South Korea and U.S. fighter pilots conduct four-day joint air drill.
  • February 10, 2016 – Senate passes North Korea sanctions legislation.
  • February 18, 2016 – U.S. F-22 stealth fighters fly over South Korea.
  • February 18, 2016 – U.S. House of Representatives passes North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016.
  • February 23, 2016 – South Korea and the U.S. postpone THAAD talks.
  • March 2, 2016 – U.S. sanctions North Korean government officials and organizations tied to the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs.

Republic of Korea

  • January 6, 2016 – South Korea issues a statement pledging to take all necessary measures against North Korea to make Pyongyang “pay the price.”
  • January 7, 2016 – South Korea resumes anti-Pyongyang broadcasts along the heavily fortified border with North Korea.
  • January 7, 2016 – National Assembly’s foreign affairs committee adopts resolution to urge the North Korean government to cease developing nuclear weapons and urges the South Korean government to secure major capabilities necessary to develop its own Kill-Chain and Korean Air Missile Defense systems to defend itself.
  • January 7, 2016 – South Korea limits entry to Kaesong Industrial Park.
  • January 11, 2016 – South Korea minimizes number of South Koreans allowed into the Kaesong Industrial Park.
  • January 13, 2016 – President Park Geun-Hye publically urges China to play a “necessary role” in drawing up strong sanctions against the North.
  • January 13, 2016 – South Korea fires warning shots at suspected North Korean drone.
  • January 14, 2016 – Lee Seok-hyun, vice speaker of the National Assembly, calls for the deployment if THAAD as indispensable to self-defense.
  • January 21, 2016 – South Korea starts indigenous high-tech fighter  jets KF-X fighter development.
  • February 3, 2016 – South Korea warns North Korea against future missile test.
  • February 3, 2016 – South Korea holds a National Security Council meeting to deal with North Korea’s planned rocket launch.
  • February 5, 2016 – Defense Minister Han Min-koo pledges to take an active response to the looming missile test.
  • February 7, 2016 – Seoul and Washington formally begin THAAD talks.
  • February 8, 2016 – South Korean Navy fires warning shots at a North Korean patrol boat that crossed the maritime border.
  • February 9, 2016 – Rival parties agree to hold an extra session to adopt a resolution denouncing North Korea’s rocket launch.
  • February 10, 2016 – South Korea suspends Kaesong Industrial Park.
  • February 19, 2016 – South Korea questions North Korea’s eligibility to be a member of the United Nations considering its recent provocations in breach of United Nations resolutions.
  • February 28, 2016 – South Korean military plans to send anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border into North Korea.
  • March 3, 2016 – South Korea passes North Korea Human Rights Act.
  • March 3, 2016 – South Korea passes new anti-terrorism law.


  • January 29, 2016 – Japan puts military on alert for possible North Korean missile test.
  • February 1, 2016 – Japan deploys patriot missiles in downtown Tokyo.
  • February 9, 2016 – Japan’s Diet unanimously passes a resolution condemning the North’s rocket launch and urges the international community to quickly adopt tougher sanctions against the regime.
  • February 10, 2016 – Japan imposes new sanctions on North Korea including travel restrictions between the two countries and a complete ban on North Korean ships to Japanese ports.


  • January 6, 2016 – China “firmly opposes” the first hydrogen test claimed by North Korea and strongly urges North Korea to remain committed to its commitment of denuclearization and stop taking any actions that will make the situation worse. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said the North’s claimed test of a hydrogen bomb is “highly regrettable” and thrust more uncertainty into regional stability.
  • January 11, 2016 – China urges restraint after U.S. B-52 flight over South Korea.
  • January 15, 2016 – China vows to join United Nations Security Council efforts to take tougher sanctions against North Korea.
  • January 29, 2016 – Beijing blocks sanctions push by South Korea and the U.S.
  • February 2, 2016 – Two Chinese military planes enter the overlapping air defense identification zone of South Korea and China.
  • February 2, 2016 – Chinese nuclear envoy Wu Dawei travels to North Korea to moderate future provocations.
  • February 8, 2016 – China summons South Korean Ambassador Kim Jang-soo to protest Seoul and Washington’s agreement to begin talks on deploying THAAD battery in South Korea.
  • February 18, 2016 – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi calls parallel talks on denuclearization and a peace treaty.
  • February 25, 2016 – China backs United Nations draft bill to punish North Korea.


  • January 13, 2016 – Obama and Putin agree on a “strong and united” response to the fourth nuclear test.
  • January 20, 2016 – South Korea and Russia agree to coordinate efforts to draw a UNSC resolution.
  • February 2, 2016 – Russia opposes the deployment of THAAD to South Korea.
  • February 4, 2016 – North Korea and Russia sign an agreement on the extradition of illegal immigrants staying in their respective countries.
  • February 29, 2016 – Russia asks for more time to review proposed United Nations sanctions.

United Nations

  • January 6, 2013 – United Nations Security Council agrees to start working on a new sanctions resolution against North Korea and “strongly condemns” the nuclear test.
  • February 4, 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges North Korea to refrain from rocket launch.
  • February 8, 2016 –United Nations Security Council strongly condemns North Korea’s rocket launch.
  • February 15, 2016 – United Nations special rapporteur to North Korea’s humans rights situation calls upon the Human Rights Council to arrange to have an official communication addressed to Kim Jong-Un to advise him that he may be investigated.
  • March 2, 2016 – United Nations Security Council passes new sanctions resolution in response to North Korean missile and nuclear tests.

Other Countries/International Organizations


  • January 6, 2016 – Foreign Ministry strongly condemns the tests, added that it shows the defiant attitude of the North, and expresses hope that North Korea will cease hostility and seek non-proliferation.


  • January 6, 2016 – Strongly condemns the fourth test and states that it is a matter of great concern.


  • January 6, 2016 – Calls the test a threat to stability, peace, and regional security.


  • January 7, 2016 – Foreign Minister Julie Bishop states that North Korea’s actions fly in the face of international non-proliferation norms.


  • January 7, 2016 – Reminded Pyongyang that the nuclear test was in contravention to the UN Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2094 and the non-proliferation regime and asks it to refrain from destabilizing activities and reaffirm its commitment to the maintenance of peace and stability.


  • January 7, 2016 – Describes North Korea’s nuclear test as reckless behavior.


  • January 7, 2016 – Deeply concerned over the hydrogen bomb test which violated the UN Security Council’s relevant resolutions, intensified tensions, and threatened peace and stability in the region.


  • January 29, 2016 – Judge orders Singapore-based firm Chinpo to pay a fine of $130,000 for wiring money used to facilitate a shipment of arms from Cuba to North Korea.

Britain, Germany, and France

  • February 7, 2016 – Condemns North Korean launch as a violation of United Nations resolutions.


  • February 7, 2016 – Foreign Minister Timo Soini strongly condemns the missile launch and urges North Korea to observe its international commitments and to refrain from actions that increase regional tensions and that deteriorate the security situation in the Korean Peninsula.


  • February 12, 2016 – Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called for further sanctions to be imposed against North Korea. He called the test a “blatant attack” against United Nations Security Council resolutions.


  • February 17, 2016 – Liberia joins other UN member states in condemning the North Korean nuclear launch.

European Union

  • March 4, 2016 – The EU passes new sanctions on North Korea in line with UN sanctions in response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile test.


  • March 4, 2016Implements UN sanctions and conducts one of the first cargo inspections of a North Korean ship.  

This list was largely compiled with the help of Thomas Lee. Thomas Lee is an intern at the Korea Economic Institute of America and a graduate of American University. 

Photo from United Nations Photo’s photostream on flickr Creative Commons.

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