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Bildt condemns North Korea after nuclear test

Published tisdag 12 februari 2013 kl 10.21
"We are not a threat to them"
(6:16 min)

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has strongly criticized North Korea's third nuclear test. Writing on his twitter account, Bildt says: "We must clearly condemn leadership in North Korea for its truly provocative third nuclear test. I expect also China to react strongly."

Sweden is one of only a handfull of western countries which have an embassy in North Korea. In the past, Sweden's representatives in Pyongyang have also acted as a go-between between the United States and North Korea.

North Korea's new ambassador to Stockholm was supposed to make a courtesy visit Tuesday to the Foreign Ministry in Sweden to meet Bildt. That meeting has been cancelled. Instead, Bildt says the Foreign Ministry will file a formal protest with the North Korean embassy in Stockholm.

"The UN Security Council is going to meet this afternoon and they will probably discuss further sanctions," Bildt tells Swedish Radio news.

But Bildt says further sanctions may have little effect because the country is already so isolated. He adds that China has an important role to play.

"The North Korean economy is, if it is at all dependent on the outside world, very dependent on China. So it's China who has the possibility to have an impact here."

North Korea's third nuclear test was expected. The last test took place four years ago. North Korean leaders had earlier said they would perform another nuclear test partly in reaction to new UN sanctions put in place after the country tested a long distance missile in December.

Sound clip above: Interview with Social Democrat MP Kent Härstedt, a frequent Swedish envoy to North Korea.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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