UN cen­sures N. Korea’s ‘out­ra­geous’ act

De­sists from im­pos­ing more sanc­tions; North warns of more op­er­a­tions in Pa­cific

The Hindu - - WORLD -

The United Na­tions con­demned North Korea’s “out­ra­geous” fir­ing of a ballistic missile over Japan, de­mand­ing that the iso­lated coun­try halts its weapons pro­gramme but hold­ing back on any threat of new sanc­tions.

North Korea said the launch of an in­ter­me­di­at­erange ballistic missile (IRBM) on Tues­day was to counter U.S. and South Korean mil­i­tary drills and was a first step in mil­i­tary ac­tion in the Pa­cific to “con­tain” the U.S. ter­ri­tory of Guam.

The North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, or­dered the launch to be con­ducted for the first time from its cap­i­tal, Pyongyang, and said more ex­er­cises with the Pa­cific as the target were needed, the North’s KCNA news agency said on Wed­nes­day.

“The cur­rent ballistic rocket launch­ing drill like a real war is the first step of the mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion of the KPA in the Pa­cific and a mean­ing­ful pre­lude to con­tain­ing Guam,” KCNA quoted Kim as say­ing. KPA stands for the Korean Peo­ple’s Army.

North Korea this month threat­ened to fire four mis­siles into the sea near Guam, home to a ma­jor U.S. mil­i­tary pres­ence, af­ter President Donald Trump said the North would face “fire and fury” if it threat­ened the United States.

The 15-mem­ber Se­cu­rity Coun­cil said it was of “vi­tal im­por­tance” that North Korea take im­me­di­ate, con­crete ac­tions to re­duce ten­sion and called on all states to im­ple­ment UN sanc­tions.

How­ever, the U.S.-drafted statement, which was agreed by con­sen­sus, does not threaten new sanc­tions on North Korea.

Diplo­mats say veto-wield­ing coun­cil mem­bers China and Rus­sia typ­i­cally only view a test of a long-range missile or a nu­clear weapon as a trig­ger for fur­ther pos­si­ble sanc­tions.

China’s and Rus­sia’s Am­bas­sadors to the United Na­tions said they op­posed any uni­lat­eral sanc­tions on North Korea and re­it­er­ated calls to halt de­ploy­ment of a U.S. missile de­fence sys­tem in South Korea.

Speak­ing dur­ing a visit to the Ja­panese city of Osaka, Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May called on China to put more pres­sure on North Korea, say­ing Bei­jing had a key role to play.

Tues­day’s test was of the same Hwa­song-12 missile Mr. Kim had threat­ened to use on Guam, but the test flight took it in an­other di­rec­tion, over north­ern Japan’s Hokkaido and into the sea.


The Hwa­song-12 missile is fired from an undis­closed lo­ca­tion in N. Korea.

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