N. korea says seek­ing equi­lib­rium with u.s.

Py­ongyang’s lat­est test mis­sile flew over Hokkaido in north­ern Ja­pan on Friday as it trav­elled about 3,700 km, far enough to reach US Pa­cific ter­ri­tory of Guam.

The Sunday Guardian - - World - REUTERS

North Korea said on Saturday it aims to reach an “equi­lib­rium” of mil­i­tary force with the United States, which ear­lier sig­naled its pa­tience for diplo­macy is wear­ing thin af­ter Py­ongyang fired a mis­sile over Ja­pan for the sec­ond time in un­der a month.

“Our fi­nal goal is to es­tab­lish the equi­lib­rium of real force with the U.S. and make the US rulers dare not talk about mil­i­tary op­tion,” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was quoted as say­ing by the state news agency, KCNA.

Kim was shown beam­ing as he watched the mis­sile fly from a mov­ing launcher in pho­tos re­leased by the agency, sur­rounded by sev­eral of­fi­cials.

“The com­bat ef­fi­ciency and re­li­a­bil­ity of Hwa­song-12 were thor­oughly ver­i­fied,” said Kim as quoted by KCNA. Kim added the North’s goal of com­plet­ing its nu­clear force had “nearly reached the ter­mi­nal”.

North Korea has launched dozens of mis­siles un­der Kim’s lead­er­ship as it ac­cel­er­ates a weapons pro­gram de­signed to give it the abil­ity to tar­get the United States with a pow­er­ful, nu­clear-tipped mis­sile.

Af­ter the lat­est mis­sile launch on Friday, White House Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser H. R. Mc­Mas­ter said the United States was fast run­ning out of pa­tience with North Korea’s mis­sile and nu­clear pro­grams.

“We’ve been kick­ing the can down the road, and we’re out of road,” Mc­Mas­ter told re­porters, re­fer­ring to Py­ong- yang’s re­peated mis­sile tests in de­fi­ance of in­ter­na­tional pres­sure.

“For those ... who have been com­ment­ing on a lack of a mil­i­tary op­tion, there is a mil­i­tary op­tion,” he said, adding that it would not be the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pre­ferred choice.

Also on Friday, the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil con­demned the “highly provoca­tive” mis­sile launch by North Korea.

It had al­ready stepped up sanc­tions against North Korea in re­sponse to a nu­clear bomb test on 3 Septem­ber, im­pos­ing a ban on North Korea’s tex­tile ex­ports and cap­ping its im­ports of crude oil.

North Korea’s lat­est test mis­sile flew over Hokkaido in north­ern Ja­pan on Friday and landed in the Pa­cific about 2,000 km (1,240 miles) to the east, the Ja­panese govern­ment said.

It trav­eled about 3,700 km (2,300 miles) in to­tal, ac­cord­ing to South Korea’s mil­i­tary, far enough to reach the US Pa­cific ter­ri­tory of Guam, which the North has threat­ened be­fore.

“The range of this test was sig­nif­i­cant since North Korea demon­strated that it could reach Guam with this mis­sile,” the Union of Con­cerned Sci­en­tists ad­vo­cacy group said in a state­ment. How­ever, the ac­cu­racy of the mis­sile, still at an early stage of devel­op­ment, was low, it said.

On Thurs­day, US Sec­re­tary of State Tiller­son called on China, Py­ongyang’s only ally, and Rus­sia to ap­ply more pres­sure on North Korea by “tak­ing di­rect ac­tions of their own.” Bei­jing has pushed back, urg­ing Wash­ing­ton to do more to rein in North Korea.

REUTERS

A crane op­er­a­tor steers his mo­bile crane next to a 18-me­tre wide ‘Mega Poster’ of An­gela Merkel, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor and leader of the Chris­tian Demo­cratic Union party, af­ter fix­ing the lights for Merkel’s cam­paign pic­ture for the 24 Septem­ber gen­eral elec­tions, in Duis­burg, Ger­many on Thurs­day.

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