North Korea leader Kim Jong-un orders more nuclear tests

[JURIST] North Korea's state-run news agency (KCNA) [official website] reported [text] Friday that Kim Jong-un watched a ballistic missile launch test, and ordered more tests, in order to improve the country's nuclear attack capabilities. This test is believed to have taken place when North Korea launched [REUTERS report] two short-range missiles on Thursday that ended up in the Sea of Japan. To conduct these tests is in clear violation of United Nation [official website] sanctions, which ban ballistic missile tests. North Korea claims [USA TODAY report] to have miniaturized nuclear warheads that it can now mount to ballistic missiles. In response, the United States and South Korea have begun various military drills as well as increasing their cyber presence in defense of North Korean cyber attacks. Further, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile] asked [UN NEWS CENTRE report] for North Korea and Kim Jong-un to "return to full compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions and cease destabilizing acts." The UN had recently adopted a resolution to impose new sanctions and tighten existing measures against North Korea.

The recent nuclear test in North Korea is cause for international concern due to the country's human rights record and instability. In February, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called on [JURIST report] North Korea's government to stop violating international obligations after another missile launch was conducted. In January the US House of Representatives approved [JURIST report] legislation that would increase sanctions against North Korea for its continuation of nuclear testing. In November Japan and the EU circulated [JURIST report] a draft UN resolution condemning North Korea's human rights abuses and encouraging the UN Security Council to refer the country to the International Criminal Court, noting reports of torture, limits on freedom of mobility, restrictions on freedom of speech, restrictions on freedom of religion, privacy infringement, arbitrary imprisonment, prison camps and more. UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea Marzuki Darusman expressed deep concerns [JURIST report] regarding human rights violations in the country just a month earlier. In November 2014 Darusman said that there is enough evidence to hold Kim Jong-un responsible for "massive" human rights atrocities [JURIST report] committed in the country. In response to these concerns, the UN in June opened a new office [JURIST report] in Seoul to specifically monitor human rights in North Korea.

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