Kim: Will soon match US in mil­i­tary might

‘North Korea near­ing com­ple­tion of its arms pro­gramme’

The Asian Age - - World -

Py­ongyang, Sept 16: North Korea leader Kim Jong-un said that the coun­try is near­ing its goal of “equi­lib­rium” in mil­i­tary force with the United States, as the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil strongly con­demned the North’s “highly provoca­tive” bal­lis­tic mis­sile test on Fri­day.

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

It trav­elled 3,700 kilo­me­ters as it flew over Ja­pan 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 as an in­ter­me­di­ate range Hwa­song-12, the same model launched over Ja­pan on Au­gust 29.

The KCNA said that Mr 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.

Mr Kim was quoted as

declar­ing the mis­sile as op­er­a­tionally ready. He vowed to com­plete his nu­clear weapons pro­gramme in the face of strength­en­ing in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions, the agency said.

The UNSC ac­cused North Korea of un­der­min­ing re­gional peace and se­cu­rity by launch­ing its lat­est mis­sile over Ja­pan and said its nu­clear and mis­sile tests “have caused grave se­cu­rity con­cerns around the world.”

Mr Kim also said the coun­try, de­spite “lim­it­less” in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions, has nearly com­pleted the build­ing of its nu­clear weapons force and called for “all-state ef­forts” to reach the goal and ob­tain a “ca­pac­ity for nu­clear coun­ter­at­tack the US can­not cope with.”

— AFP

In this pho­to­graph re­leased by Korean Cen­tral News Agency on Satur­day, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in­spects a launch­ing drill of the medium-and-long range strate­gic bal­lis­tic rocket Hwa­song-12 at an undis­closed lo­ca­tion.

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