N Korea vows to ful­fil nu­clear pro­gramme after lat­est mis­sile

Business Standard - - WORLD - KANGA KONG

North Korea said it will com­plete its nu­clear pro­gram in the face of height­ened United Na­tions sanc­tions after the iso­lated na­tion on Fri­day fired a sec­ond in­ter­me­di­ate-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile that flew over Ja­pan.

Leader Kim Jong Un claimed his nu­clear pro­gramme is nearly com­plete de­spite a se­ries of sanc­tions by the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and his fi­nal goal is to build “the equi­lib­rium of real force” with the US and pre­vent mil­i­tary ac­tion against Py­ongyang, the Korean Central News Agency said Satur­day. Kim per­son­ally guided the launch of the lat­est Hwa­song-12 mis­sile, it said.

The test was aimed at “calm­ing down the bel­liger­ence of the US” and “con­firm­ing ac­tion pro­ce­dures of ac­tual war,” the state-run agency said in a state­ment.

The test was North Korea’s sec­ond mis­sile over Ja­pan in as many months. The mis­sile flew over Hokkaido and suc­cess­fully hit its tar­get in the Pa­cific Ocean, KCNA said.

The rogue state con­ducted its sixth and most pow­er­ful nu­clear test on September 3.

It has launched more than a dozen mis­siles this year as Kim’s regime seeks the ca­pa­bil­ity to hit the con­ti­nen­tal US with an atomic weapon. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has said all op­tions — in­clud­ing mil­i­tary — are on the ta­ble to stop North Korea from threat­en­ing the US.

Ear­lier in the week, the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil tight­ened sanc­tions after the US dropped key de­mands such as an oil em­bargo to win sup­port from Rus­sia and China.

The res­o­lu­tion seeks to cut im­ports of re­fined pe­tro­leum prod­ucts to 2 mil­lion bar­rels a year, ban tex­tile ex­ports and strengthen in­spec­tions of ships that are be­lieved to be car­ry­ing cargo in breach of sanc­tions.

The US should cease threats against North Korea and do more to re­solve the cri­sis, China’s am­bas­sador to the US Cui Tiankai told re­porters in Wash­ing­ton Fri­day. China will never recog­nise North Korea as a nu­clear state and op­poses nu­clear weapons any­where on the Korean penin­sula, he said.

South Korea es­ti­mated the lat­est North Korean mis­sile reached an al­ti­tude of 770 kilo­me­tres (478 miles) and trav­elled 3,700 kilo­me­tres (2,300 miles) — fur­ther than the 3,400 kilo­me­tres (2,100 miles) from Py­ongyang to Guam.

In Au­gust, North Korea threat­ened that it planned to test fire four in­ter­me­di­at­erange mis­siles into wa­ters near Guam, a US ter­ri­tory with mil­i­tary bases, but said later it would wait and see how the US be­haved be­fore car­ry­ing out the plan.

KCNA VIA REUTERS

An undated pic­ture of the Hwa­song-12 mis­sile launch, which was guided by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

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