WASHINGTON/BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to take "firm action" in response to the latest nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
"Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats," he told the U.S. Congress in his State of the Union address Tuesday.
Obama said the DPRK would "only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations."
The U.S. President, who has placed non-proliferation high on his foreign policy agenda since he first took office in 2009, also pledged the U.S. would continue to lead efforts to prevent the "spread of the world's most dangerous weapons."
Obama's pledge came after the DPRK said Tuesday it had successfully conducted a third nuclear test.
DPRK's official news agency, KCNA, said the test was part of the country's "practical measures of counteraction" to defend its security and sovereignty against hostile U.S. policies that had violated the DPRK's "rights to launch satellites for peaceful purposes."
The test has aroused serious concern and drawn condemnation from around the world.
Earlier in the day, Obama condemned the nuclear test as "highly provocative," while calling for "further swift and credible action" by the international community.
The UN Security Council strongly condemned the DPRK test, saying it was "a grave violation" of its resolutions.
"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned this test, which is a grave violation of Security Council resolution 1718(2006), 1874(2009) and 2087(2013), and therefore there continues to exist a clear threat to international peace and security," the 15-member Security Council said in a statement after an emergency meeting.
"The members of the Security Council will begin work immediately on appropriate measures in a Security Council resolution," the statement said.
Earlier Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the test, saying it was "a clear and grave violation" of the resolutions.
Ban said in a statement, "it is deplorable that Pyongyang defied the strong and unequivocal call from the international community to refrain from any further provocative measures."
"The secretary-general is gravely concerned about the negative impact of this deeply destabilizing act on regional stability, as well as the global efforts for nuclear nonproliferation," the statement said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday China was "strongly dissatisfied with" and "firmly opposed to" the nuclear test, urging Pyongyang to honor its denuclearization commitment and not to take any actions that would worsen the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his South Korean counterpart, Kim Sung-hwan, discussed the issue by phone.
In response to the nuclear test, South Korea said its military was deploying cruise missiles capable of striking any and all parts of the DPRK and accelerating the development of ballistic missiles to deter the DPRK threat.
"We have deployed a cruise missile that can strike any and all parts of North Korea (DPRK)," Seoul's defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a press briefing Wednesday.
"And we will also speed up the development of ballistic missiles with a range of 800 kilometers, based on the revised missile pact (with the United States)," Kim said, adding his country would also build a missile defense system called the Korean Air and Missile Defense.
Meanwhile, the South Korean military is monitoring potential signs of additional nuclear or missile tests by the DPRK, which has threatened "second and third measures of greater intensity," if Washington takes further action.