South Korea braces for pos­si­ble new mis­sile test to mark North’s found­ing day

Stabroek News Sunday - - WORLD NEWS -

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea braced for a pos­si­ble fur­ther mis­sile test by North Korea as it marked its found­ing an­niver­sary on Satur­day, just days after its sixth and largest nu­clear test rat­tled global fi­nan­cial mar­kets and fur­ther es­ca­lated ten­sions in the re­gion.

Through­out the week, South Korean of­fi­cials have warned the North could launch an­other in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile, in de­fi­ance of UN sanc­tions and amid an es­ca­lat­ing stand­off with the United States.

Py­ongyang marks its found­ing an­niver­sary each year with a big dis­play of pageantry and military hard­ware. Last year, North Korea con­ducted its fifth nu­clear test on the Sept. 9 an­niver­sary.

Ten­sion on the Korean penin­sula has es­ca­lated as North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, has stepped up the de­vel­op­ment of weapons, test­ing a string of mis­siles this year, in­clud­ing one fly­ing over Ja­pan, and con­duct­ing its sixth nu­clear test on Sun­day.

Ex­perts be­lieve the iso­lated regime is close to its goal of de­vel­op­ing a pow­er­ful nu­clear weapon ca­pa­ble of reach­ing the United States, some­thing US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has vowed to pre­vent.

Cel­e­brat­ing its found­ing an­niver­sary, a front-page ed­i­to­rial of the Satur­day edi­tion of North Korea’s of­fi­cial Rodong Sin­mun said the coun­try should make “more high-tech Juche weapons to con­tin­u­ously bring about big his­tor­i­cal events such as a mirac­u­lous vic­tory of July 28.”. The July date refers to the in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile test.

Juche is North Korea’s home­grown ide­ol­ogy of self-re­liance that is a mix of Marx­ism and ex­treme na­tion­al­ism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the cur­rent leader’s grand­fa­ther.

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