‘More missiles to come’
> North Korea says rocket launch first step in Pacific operation
SEOUL: The United Nations condemned North Korea’s “outrageous” firing of a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday, demanding Pyongyang halt its weapons programme but holding back on any threat of new sanctions on the isolated regime.
North Korea said the launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile was to counter US and South Korean military drills and was a first step in military action in the Pacific to “contain” the American 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 targets are needed, KCNA news agency said yesterday.
“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.
The Korean People’s Army or KPA is the North’s military.
Earlier this month, North Korea threatened to fire four missiles into the sea near Guam, home to a major US military presence, after President Donald Trump said the North would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the United States.
In a statement, the 15-member Security Council said it was of “vital importance” that North Korea take immediate, concrete actions to reduce tensions and called on all states to implement UN sanctions on Pyongyang.
However, the US-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 longrange missile or a nuclear weapon as a trigger for further possible sanctions. – Reuters
A Hwasong-12 ballistic rocket lifts off from its launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang on Monday in this picture released by KCNA on Tuesday.
Smoke rises from what is believed to be a burning village in an area near Maungdaw yesterday.
Residents in the Japanese city of Wajima cover their heads during an evacuation drill for North Korean missiles yesterday.