Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today condemned the North Korean nuclear test and released the following statement:

“It is my belief that North Korea’s ability to launch a nuclear weapon—whether now or in the future—is a major threat to Asia and the rest of the world.

“In order to assess the severity of any nuclear threat, it’s critical to assess the intention of the leader. In this case, the intentions of North Korea’s leadership over the past two decades have been very clear: to develop the strongest, most lethal weaponry possible. As a matter of fact, North Korea has sought more and more destructive weapons over the years and now is claiming hydrogen bombs. There is no question about this intention, it’s apparent in both word and deed.

“North Korea’s long history of noncompliance further proves its intention to flout international agreements in an attempt to build sophisticated weapons—whether violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the 1994 Agreed Framework or multiple UN Security Council Resolutions.

  • In 1993, North Korea violated its commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty after evidence surfaced that it had separated weapons-grade plutonium from spent reactor fuel.
  • In 2002, the Bush administration presented evidence that North Korea violated the 1994 Agreed Framework between our countries. The evidence showed that North Korea secretly developed a uranium enrichment program. North Korea then restarted its plutonium program and kicked out IAEA inspectors.
  • Since 2006, the UN has adopted four major resolutions that call on Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear program “in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner” and refrain from ballistic missile tests. North Korea, clearly, has violated these and continues to be sanctioned as a result.

“Given the history and the regime’s intentions, the most recent nuclear test is very alarming to me, as it should be to the entire world. Whether they achieved a hydrogen bomb or not is still in question, but the fact remains that the test caused a seismic event at a magnitude of 5.1, which many authorities assume was some form of a nuclear test. Plus, several unclassified assessments estimate North Korea already has between 15 and 20 weapons, a number predicted to rise.

“Whether it’s a potential nuclear warhead reaching the United States or our allies, or the illicit transfer of nuclear material and know-how, the North Korean program is a threat that must be addressed.

“It is my hope that the UN Security Council will take vigorous action, not least of which is increasing sanctions. I hope China, which is the one country that can be most helpful, is an active participant in the international response."