North Korea conducted a third nuclear explosion deep in its northeast hillsides on Feb. 12.
According to the political newspaper The Economist, the nuclear test was directed under the rule of Kim Jong-un and was only hours before President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
In his address, President Obama announced America’s mission to strengthen missile defenses and its restored commitment to allies.
Lisa Hellier, a recent WTAMU graduate moving to South Korea this month, is confident in America’s strength.
“It is good to know that the United States stands by South Korea should anything ever happen,” Hellier said. “I do consider [North Korea] a threat to safety, but they have yet to do anything. I hope it will remain that way for a while longer.”
According to BBC News, North Korea publicized its execution of successful nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and again in 2013. Negotiations were made between the U.S., Russia, China, Japan and South Korea persuading North Korea to surrender nuclear ambitions.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il died in Dec. 2011, and was succeeded by his son Kim Jong-un, who later delayed nuclear activities and missile tests in exchange for food aid from the U.S.
The deal was suspended after an unsuccessful rocket launch in April 2012, followed by a successful launch in Dec. 2012.
According to BBC news, the latest test is a clear statement of North Korea’s ongoing defiance of the international community and a response to expanded UN sanctions after its most recent rocket launch.
WTAMU international student Vitality Skorodziyevskiy, a junior Business major, questioned North Korea’s practice.
“If every nation tells you that you are not doing things right, most likely you’re not headed down the right path,” Skorodziyevskiy said. “They definitely need to think about the consequences that will follow.”