American diplomat: N. Korean attack on S. Korea, Japan to be viewed as attack on U.S. - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

American diplomat: N. Korean attack on S. Korea, Japan to be viewed as attack on U.S.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Il North Korean leader Kim Jong Il

UNITED NATIONS - U.N. diplomats say the U.S. ambassador told the Security Council that  Washington would view a North Korean attack on South Korea or Japan as an attack on the United States.

The statement came Monday morning after word that North Korea had conducted its first-ever nuclear weapons test.  President Bush said in a briefing from the White House that he considers the test to be "provocative".

Bush said immediate action needs to be taken by the United Nations Security Council in response to the test. The North Korean government said last week it would conduct a nuclear test as part of its deterrent against US invasion.   It said its test was successful, with the technology performing "100 percent".

Japan is sending aircraft to monitor radiation levels in the waters off the Korean peninsula.  An official with Japan's defense agency says three supersonic aircraft will be collecting air samples to try to assess North Korea's claim to the nuclear test. Japan's prime minister, meanwhile,  agrees with President Bush that North Korea's apparent decision to test an atomic device needs "decisive action" by the U-N Security Council. Japan's foreign ministry says the two  leaders, who spoke by phone, believe the test is a grave threat to international security.

A U-S official says the U-N Security Council will take up the matter this morning. The council had scheduled a meeting to vote on a successor to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and the official says the North Korean issue has been added to the agenda.

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