As stakes rise, Kim stands firm

The Observer - - NEWS WORLD - Vic­to­ria Craw and De­bra Kil­lalea

NORTH Korea’s am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions in­sists his coun­try will not “flinch an inch” in its quest for nu­clear ca­pa­bil­i­ties as long as US “threats con­tinue”.

Am­bas­sador Han Taesong told the Con­fer­ence on Dis­ar­ma­ment in Geneva his coun­try had “ev­ery rea­son to re­spond with tough counter mea­sures”, hours af­ter Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile over Japan and into the sea.

The launch sparked global con­dem­na­tion, with the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil calling on North Korea yes­ter­day to halt its ballistic missile and nu­clear weapons pro­grams.

“The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ex­presses its grave con­cern that the DPRK is … de­lib­er­ately un­der­min­ing re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity and have caused grave se­cu­rity con­cerns around the world,” the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil said in a statement.

The coun­cil also ex­pressed “its com­mit­ment to a peace­ful, diplo­matic and po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion”, but did not threaten new sanc­tions.

North Korea’s ac­tions were raised on Chan­nel 9’s Today pro­gram as host Karl Ste­fanovic quizzed For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop about the best path for­ward.

Ste­fanovic said nei­ther threats nor an olive branch had worked and North Korea didn’t seem to care about the rest of the world.

Ms Bishop said the col­lec­tive strat­egy was to con­tinue to im­pose po­lit­i­cal, diplo­matic and eco­nomic sanc­tions.

“The United States has said all op­tions are on the ta­ble and that has cer­tainly been the case for some time,” she said, adding it was vi­tal all diplo­matic chan­nels were ex­hausted.

Ste­fanovic didn’t leave it there, say­ing: “With the great­est re­spect, he (Kim Jong-Un) doesn’t give a toss about Donald Trump or us”.

As pic­tures emerged of the launch, Korean Cen­tral News Agency said Leader Kim Jong-un had called for more ballistic missile launches into the Pa­cific.

Mr Kim called the launch a “mean­ing­ful pre­lude” to con­tain­ing Guam.

US President Trump said: “Threat­en­ing and desta­bil­is­ing ac­tions only in­crease the North Korean regime’s iso­la­tion in the re­gion and among all na­tions of the world.

“All op­tions are on the ta­ble.”

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