North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) celebrates with scientists and technicians after the launch of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket December 15, 2012.
OTTAWA - North Korea's most recent nuclear test confirmed that the global pariah has not entered a new, more modern era under Kim Jong-un, as the Canadian government had hoped.
"While we had hoped the passing of dictator Kim Jong-il would have closed a sad chapter in North Korea, we are disappointed that his son has continued the irresponsible path of placing weapons before the well-being of people," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement.
North Korean state-run media KCNA reported the country had conducted the test "at a high level in a safe and perfect manner," and world leaders wasted no time condemning its actions.
Calling it provocative, misguided and a threat to regional security, Baird said Canada would work with international partners to "pursue all appropriate actions and sanctions against the rogue regime."
NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar also denounced the test, saying Canada should offer its "full support to efforts aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation."
KCNA said it used a miniature, light nuclear device with greater explosive force than its two previous tests, in 2009 and 2006. Canada imposed new sanctions after each of those tests.
While Japan mulled unilateral sanctions and convened a national security meeting almost immediately, North Korea's closest and perhaps only ally - China - issued a statement "firmly opposing" the tests.
"We strongly urge the DPRK to honour its commitment to denuclearization and refrain from any move that may further worsen the situation."