WORLD N Korea’s mis­sile launch a ‘ gift’ to US

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

NORTH Korea’s of­fi­cial news agency has de­clared Tues­day’s suc­cess­ful test of an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile ( ICBM) a “gift” to “Amer­i­can bas­tards” for July 4 In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tions.

Py­ongyang’s of­fi­cial news agency at­trib­uted the words to North Korean leader Kim Jong- un, who re­port­edly per­son­ally over­saw the launch.

“He said Amer­i­can bas­tards would be not very happy with this gift sent on the July 4 an­niver­sary,” the agency stated.

Break­ing into laugh­ter, the recorded state­ment said he “added that we should send them gifts once in a while to help break their bore­dom”.

Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son called the mis­sile launch a “new es­ca­la­tion of the threat” to the US.

In a show of force di­rectly re­spond­ing to North Korea’s provo­ca­tion, US and South Korean sol­diers fired “deep strike” pre­ci­sion mis­siles into South Korean ter­ri­to­rial wa- ters, US mil­i­tary Seoul said.

The mis­sile fir­ings demon­strated US- South Korean sol­i­dar­ity, the US Eighth Army said in a state­ment.

At the re­quest of the US, Ja­pan and South Korea, the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil was to hold an emer­gency ses­sion yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Mr Tiller­son said that was part of a US re­sponse that would in­clude “stronger mea­sures to hold the DPRK ac­count­able”, us­ing an acro­nym for the iso­lated na­tion’s for­mal name, the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea.

“Global ac­tion is re­quired to of­fi­cials in stop a global threat,” Mr Tiller­son said.

“Any coun­try that hosts North Korean guest work­ers, pro­vides any eco­nomic or mil­i­tary ben­e­fits, or fails to fully im­ple­ment UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions is aid­ing and abet­ting a dan­ger­ous regime.”

He said the US “will never ac­cept a nu­clear- armed North Korea”.

Mr Tiller­son’s state­ment, is­sued Tues­day even­ing as most Amer­i­cans were cel­e­brat­ing the Fourth of July hol­i­day, no­tably did not men­tion China, whose help the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has been ag­gres­sively seek­ing to press Py­ongyang over its nu­clear weapons pro­gram.

In re­cent days, as the North has con­tin­ued to test mis­siles in de­fi­ance of global pres­sure, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has started voic­ing doubt that Bei­jing is up to the task.

His ad­min­is­tra­tion has taken sev­eral steps against China’s in­ter­ests that have sug­gested its pa­tience has run short.

Mr Tiller­son’s com­ments were the first public con­fir­ma­tion by the US that the mis­sile was in­deed an ICBM, con­sti­tut­ing a ma­jor tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment for the North and its most suc­cess­ful mis­sile test yet.

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