Kim calls for more Pa­cific mis­sile tests

Irish Examiner - - World News - Foster Klug

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for more weapons tests tar­get­ing the Pa­cific Ocean, a day after his na­tion for the first time flew a bal­lis­tic mis­sile de­signed to carry a nu­clear pay­load over Ja­pan.

Tues­day’s ag­gres­sive mis­sile launch — prob­a­bly the long­est ever from North Korea — over the ter­ri­tory of a close US ally sends a clear mes­sage of de­fi­ance as Wash­ing­ton and Seoul con­duct war games nearby.

Py­ongyang’s of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency said it was a Hwa­song-12 in­ter­me­di­ate range mis­sile that the North first suc­cess­fully tested in May and threat­ened to fire into wa­ters near Guam ear­lier this month.

Kim was present for in­ter­me­di­ate range mis­sile launch over Ja­pan, the agency said. He ex­pressed “great sat­is­fac­tion” over the launch which he called a “mean­ing­ful pre­lude” to con­tain­ing Guam, which is home to key US mil­i­tary bases that North Korea finds threat­en­ing.

He said it is “nec­es­sary to pos­i­tively push for­ward the work for put­ting the strate­gic force on a mod­ern ba­sis by con­duct­ing more bal­lis­tic rocket drills with the Pa­cific as a tar­get in the fu­ture”.

China must do more to stop North Korea’s nu­clear mis­sile launches, Theresa May said as she re­fused to rule out Bri­tish mil­i­tary ac­tion to stop the rogue state.

Land­ing in Ja­pan just 36 hours after Py­ongyang sent a mis­sile over the north of the coun­try, the UK prime min­is­ter in­sisted the UK would be re-dou­bling its ef­forts to curb the regime’s weapons test­ing pro­gramme.

Mrs May said: “China has a key role to play here in terms of the pres­sure they can bring on North Korea.”

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