Despite deep concern of the international community, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) went ahead with its third nuclear test on Tuesday.
Pyongyang said it conducted the third underground nuclear test to defend its national security and sovereignty against hostile U.S. policies and protest against a UN Security Council resolution, pushed through by Washington last month to punish the DPRK for its satellite launch in December.
In no time, the nuclear test has drawn condemnation from its rival camp. The United States slamed the nuclear test as "highly provocative," Japan said it would mull imposing unilateral sanctions on the DPRK while South Korea vowed to seek all measures to deter Pyongyang's nuclear ambition.
At a superficial level, it was Pyongyang that has repteatedly breached UN resolutions and used its nuclear program as a weapon to challenge the world community, which was considered to be unwise and regrettable.
In reality, the DPRK's defiance was deeply rooted in its strong sense of insecurity after years of confrontation with South Korea, Japan and a militarily more superior United States.
In the eyes of the DPRK, Washington has spared no efforts to contain it and flexed its military muscle time and again by holding joint military drills with South Korea and Japan in the region.
The latest nuclear test is apparently another manifestation of the attempt of a desperate DPRK to keep threat at bay.
At the same time, the escalating tensions also has highlighted the importance of trust building and the need of concrete and sincere efforts by all sides to prevent spiraling deterioration of the situation on the peninsular and any disastrous consequences.
For now, what's in dire need is for all relevant parties to keep calm, exercise restraint and accommodate each other's concerns so as to properly manage the current crisis.
In the long run, dialogue and negotiations, instead of confrontation and barbs trading, are the optimal means to eventually solve the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
The six-party talks, which bring all parties concerned to the same negotiating table, remain to be the most viable platform to reverse hostilities.
It has come to a point for all parties concerned to think and act rationally to create favorable conditions to revive the long-stalled six-party talks and avoid a disastrous fallout. Endi