N Korea de­mands US recog­nise it as a nu­clear power

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A DE­FI­ANT North Korea re­stated yes­ter­day its de­mand for recog­ni­tion as a “le­git­i­mate” nu­clear-armed state, as world pow­ers pon­dered ways to pun­ish Py­ongyang for its lat­est and largest atomic test.

The North also vowed to in­crease its nu­clear strike force “in qual­ity and in quan­tity”, two days af­ter its fifth test in a decade sparked in­ter­na­tional con­dem­na­tion and moves for tougher UN sanc­tions.

In Ja­pan, a vis­it­ing se­nior US en­voy said Wash­ing­ton and Tokyo were seek­ing “the strong­est pos­si­ble” mea­sures in re­sponse.

North Korea in­sists that its mis­sile and nu­clear tests are nec­es­sary to counter what it says is a US nu­clear threat to its in­de­pen­dence.

A state­ment yes­ter­day from a for­eign min­istry spokesper­son in Py­ongyang mocked Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s “to­tally bank­rupt” pol­icy on the coun­try.

“Obama is try­ing hard to deny the DPRK’s [North Korea’s] strate­gic po­si­tion as a le­git­i­mate nu­clear weapons state but it is as fool­ish an act as try­ing to eclipse the sun with a palm,” said the state­ment quoted by the of­fi­cial KCNA news agency.

The Septem­ber 9 test came only eight months af­ter the pre­vi­ous one and was al­most twice as pow­er­ful, at an es­ti­mated 10 kilo­tonnes.

Most wor­ry­ingly for the in­ter­na­tional community, the North claimed it had been a minia­turised war­head that could be mounted on a mis­sile.

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil agreed to start work on new mea­sures – even though five sets of UN sanc­tions since the first nu­clear test in 2006 have failed to halt the North’s nu­clear drive.

Sung Kim, the US State Depart­ment’s spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive for North Korea pol­icy, said Wash­ing­ton and Tokyo would work closely in the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil “to come up with the strong­est pos­si­ble mea­sure against North Korea’s lat­est ac­tion”.

He also sug­gested the US may launch its own uni­lat­eral sanc­tions in re­sponse to “the provoca­tive and un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour by the North Kore­ans”.

KCNA in­sisted yes­ter­day that North Kore­ans were de­lighted with the lat­est det­o­na­tion.

“The test demon­strated the dig­nity of the coun­try guided by the iron-willed com­man­der as well as the

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