Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — With U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry invoking North Korea’s latest nuclear explosion as a “reckless act of provocation,” the U.N. Security Council on Friday approved a resolution urging quick global implementation of a treaty that would ban tests of such weapons.

Kerry said universal adoption of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty would result in a “safer, more secure, and more peaceful planet,” as the United States and 18 other council members approved the resolution, with none opposed and Egypt abstaining.

Security Council approval comes as the Comprehensive Test Ban Organization set up to administer the treaty marks its 20th anniversary. CTBO chief Lassina Zerbo welcomed the vote, saying that “it will remind the international community … that we have to finish what we started 20 years ago.”

European Union foreign policy coordinator Federica Mogherini said approval is “an important step” toward global enactment of the treaty.

The Washington-based Arms Control Association called it “a very important reaffirmation of the global taboo against nuclear weapon test explosions and strong call for ratification” by key nations.

Yet Friday’s move was mostly symbolic.

The U.S. remains one of the holdouts among the 44 countries that are designated “nuclear capable” – the United States, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan – that still need to ratify the treaty for it to enter into force.

North Korean leaders appeared in no mood to ratify any time soon, with Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho vowing his country will expand its nuclear capabilities in defiance of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.