A view to a kill — Kim Jong- un style

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

LIKE a bad guy from a James Bond movie, this is the mo­ment North Korea’s delu­sional dic­ta­tor moved the world a step closer to global con­flict.

Kim Jong-un — seated in a padded chair be­hind an ex­ec­u­tive desk in the mid­dle of an iso­lated run­way — con- tin­ued to an­tag­o­nise the US as his gen­er­als fired an in­ter­me­di­ate-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile over Ja­pan on Fri­day.

He cel­e­brated the suc­cess­ful launch of his fur­thest-ever mis­sile test by brand­ing Amer­ica “the big power chau­vin­ists” and vowed to “make the US rulers dare not talk about mil­i­tary op­tion”. In re­sponse, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sched­uled talks with the lead­ers of Ja­pan and South Korea to ad­dress the cri­sis.

NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong-un says his coun­try is near­ing its goal of “equilib­rium” in mil­i­tary force with the United States, as the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil strongly con­demned his “highly provoca­tive” bal­lis­tic mis­sile launch over Ja­pan on Fri­day.

The North’s of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency car­ried Kim’s com­ments yes­ter­day — a day af­ter US and South Korean mil­i­taries de­tected the mis­sile launch from the North Korean cap­i­tal of Py­ongyang.

It trav­elled 3700km as it passed over the Ja­panese island of Hokkaido be­fore land­ing in the north­ern Pa­cific Ocean. It was the coun­try’s long­est-ever test flight of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile.

The North has con­firmed the mis­sile was an in­ter­me­di­ate range Hwa­song-12, the same model it launched over Ja­pan on Au­gust 29.

The in­creas­ingly fre­quent and ag­gres­sive tests are seen as North Korea’s at­tempt to win greater free­dom by rais­ing doubts in Seoul and Tokyo that Washington would risk the an­ni­hi­la­tion of a US city to pro­tect them.

The KCNA said Kim ex­pressed great sat­is­fac­tion over the launch, which he said ver­i­fied the “com­bat ef­fi­ciency and re­li­a­bil­ity” of the mis­sile and the suc­cess of ef­forts to in­crease its power.

While the English ver­sion of the re­port was less straight­for­ward, the Korean ver­sion quoted Kim as declar­ing the mis­sile was op­er­a­tionally ready. He vowed to com­plete his nu­clear weapons pro­gram in the face of strength­en­ing in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions.

Photos pub­lished by North Korea’s state me­dia showed the mis­sile be­ing fired from a truck-mounted launcher and a smil­ing Kim clap­ping and rais­ing his fist while cel­e­brat­ing from an ob­ser­va­tion point.

Kim said the coun­try’s fi­nal goal “is to es­tab­lish the equilib­rium of real force with the US and make the US rulers dare not talk about mil­i­tary op­tion for the DPRK (Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea)”.

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ac­cused North Korea of un­der­min­ing re­gional peace and se­cu­rity, and said its nu­clear and mis­sile tests “have caused grave se­cu­rity con­cerns around the world”.

Ja­pan’s UN am­bas­sador Koro Bessho called the mis­sile launch an “out­ra­geous act”.

South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in, a lib­eral who ini­tially pushed for talks with North Korea, said its tests cur­rently made di­a­logue “im­pos­si­ble”. “If North Korea pro­vokes us or our al­lies, we have the strength to smash the at­tempt at an early stage”.

Pic­tures: AFP

Kim Jong-un watches (main) and then cel­e­brates a rocket launch with mil­i­tary elite cheer­ing him on.

Kim Jong-un at the launch.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.