By Jordan Fabian - 09-09-16 10:24 AM EDT
President Obama on Friday condemned North Korea's latest nuclear test, vowing to pursue new sanctions against the rogue regime.
The test, North Korea's second this year and fifth overall, is a blatant challenge to world leaders who have tried and failed thus far to persuade Pyongyang to drop its nuclear ambitions.
Obama called the test "a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability."
"The United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state," he said in a statement.
"Far from achieving its stated national security and economic development goals, North Korea's provocative and destabilizing actions have instead served to isolate and impoverish its people."
The test came as Obama was returning to the United States after attending international summits in China and Laos, where he met with regional leaders concerned about North Korea's nuclear buildup.
The United Nations Security Council will reportedly discuss a response to the test during a closed-door meeting Friday at the request of the U.S., Japan and South Korea.
Obama called the test a "flagrant violation" of multiple security council resolutions that "demonstrates it has no interest in being a responsible member of the international community."
Obama detailed his discussions with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who agreed to "take additional significant steps, including new sanctions, to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions."
The test was discovered when a 5.3-magnitude earthquake was reported near a site where North Korea tested its fourth nuclear device in January.
"North Korea stands out as the only country to have tested nuclear weapons this century," Obama said. "As commander in chief, I have a responsibility to safeguard the American people and ensure that the United States is leading the international community in responding to this threat."