Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (NY-16), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released this statement in response to North Korea’s nuclear test. The statement follows:

"Today’s nuclear test by North Korea is highly provocative and is in direct defiance of the international community. The North’s dangerous behavior poses a threat to regional peace and to the national security of the United States. I made public this concern on my recent trip to South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and the Philippines. We will work in close concert with our allies South Korea, Japan and other like-minded countries to respond to North Korea’s action. China must play a role in urging its ally North Korea to halt their nuclear and ballistic program at once. When the U.N. Security Council convenes today, it must take urgent steps to immediately punish North Korea for violating the will of the international community."