UNSC con­demns N Korea mis­sile launch

Our fi­nal goal is to es­tab­lish the equilib­rium of real force with the US, says North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

This un­dated pho­tos re­leased from North Korea’s of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency (KCNA) show North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in­spect­ing a launch­ing drill of the bal­lis­tic rocket Hwa­song-12 at an undis­closed lo­ca­tion United Na­tions - The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (UNSC) on Fri­day strongly con­demned North Korea’s ‘highly provoca­tive’ launch of a mis­sile that flew over Ja­pan and de­manded that Py­ongyang im­me­di­ately halt such ac­tions.

In a unan­i­mous state­ment backed by China, the coun­cil said the launch was car­ried out just three weeks af­ter a first mis­sile over­flew Ja­pan and less than two weeks af­ter Py­ongyang’s sixth and big­gest nu­clear test.

The coun­cil ‘ strongly con­demned these launches, con­demned fur­ther the DPRK for its out­ra­geous ac­tions, and de­manded that the DPRK im­me­di­ately cease all such ac­tions’.

The state­ment how­ever did not threaten fur­ther sanc­tions.

North Korea fired the in­ter- me­di­ate bal­lis­tic mis­sile over Ja­pan that landed in the Pa­cific, re­spond­ing to new UN sanc­tions with its fur­thest-ever mis­sile flight.

The US Pa­cific Com­mand con­firmed Fri­day’s rocket was an in­ter­me­di­ate range bal­lis­tic mis­sile (IRBM) and said it did not pose a threat to North Amer­ica or to the US Pa­cific ter­ri­tory of Guam, which Py­ongyang has threat­ened to bracket with ‘en­velop­ing fire’.

North Korea said on Satur­day it was seek­ing mil­i­tary ‘equilib­rium’ with the United States as leader Kim Jong-Un vowed to com­plete Py­ongyang’s nu­clear pro­gramme.

North Korea suc­cess­fully fired a Hwa­song-12 in­ter­me­di­at­erange bal­lis­tic mis­sile over Ja­pan on Fri­day.

“Our fi­nal goal is to es­tab­lish the equilib­rium of real force with the US and make the US rulers dare not talk about mil­i­tary op­tion for the DPRK,” Kim said, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency (KCNA).

Kim said the coun­try was close to the goal of com­plet­ing its nu­clear am­bi­tions and should use all power at its dis­posal to fin­ish the task, say­ing it had ‘nearly reached the ter­mi­nal’, KCNA re­ported.

The young leader said Fri­day’s launch had in­creased the North’s ‘com­bat power of the nu­clear force’. “We should clearly show the big power chau­vin­ists how our state at­tain the goal of com­plet­ing its nu­clear force de­spite their lim­it­less sanc­tions and block­ade,” Kim said, ac­cord­ing to KCNA.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sched­uled talks with the lead­ers of Ja­pan and South Korea to ad­dress the cri­sis.

Seoul’s De­fence Min­istry said it prob­a­bly trav­elled around 3,700km and reached a max­i­mum al­ti­tude of 770km.

Video broad­cast by the North’s Korean Cen­tral TV showed a mis­sile blast­ing off from a mo­bile trans­port ve­hi­cle and shots of it soar­ing through clouds.

“The com­bat re­li­a­bil­ity of Hwa­song-12 was thor­oughly ver­i­fied,” Kim was quoted as say­ing by star TV pre­sen­ter Ri ChunHee, who ap­pears when North Korea wants to boast of its achieve­ments or needs to make an im­por­tant an­nounce­ment.

North Korea’s of­fi­cial party news­pa­per Rodong Sin­mun allo- cated half its cov­er­age to pic­tures of the launch.

Yang Uk, an an­a­lyst with the Korea De­fence and Se­cu­rity Fo­rum, said that Kim’s stated am­bi­tion of achiev­ing a mil­i­tary bal­ance with Wash­ing­ton was some way off.

“It’s too un­re­al­is­tic for North Korea to reach equilib­rium in nu­clear force with the US,” he said.

The North has raised global ten­sions with its rapid progress in weapons tech­nol­ogy un­der Kim, who is reg­u­larly pic­tured by state me­dia over­see­ing launches and vis­it­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

“The lat­est launch, which was ap­par­ently made from a TEL (trans­porter erec­tor launcher or mis­sile ve­hi­cle) in­stead of a makeshift launch pad, means the North is now ready to de­ploy the IRBM Hwa­song-12 for com­bat pur­poses,” Yang said.

“The North ap­pears to have re­solved tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties in launch­ing the mis­siles from TELs. With its mo­bil­ity be­ing in­creased, Hwa­song-12 poses an im­mi­nent threat to the US and its al­lies in the re­gion,” he said.

The North’s pre­vi­ous mis­sile launch, a Hwa­song-12 IRBM just over two weeks ago, also over­flew Ja­pan’s main is­lands and was the first to do so for years.

“Within three to five years, the North is ex­pected to be ca­pa­ble of op­er­at­ing nu­clear mis­siles as de­ter­rence,” Yang added.

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and his French coun­ter­part Em­manuel Macron jointly ap­pealed for talks with North Korea, say­ing this was the only way to re­solve ten­sions over its nu­clear pro­gramme.

The ap­peal was di­rected at the United States and Ja­pan, which have called for pres­sure to be ramped up through sanc­tions rather than pin­ning hopes on talks. Russia and China, North Korea’s main ally, on Mon­day backed a US-drafted res­o­lu­tion at the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to im­pose fresh sanc­tions on Py­ongyang - but they main­tain di­a­logue is key to defuse the cri­sis.

The sanc­tions im­posed on Mon­day banned the North’s tex­tile trade, stopped new work per­mits for its labour­ers, and im­posed re­stric­tions on ship­ments of oil prod­ucts, among other mea­sures.

In re­sponse to Fri­day’s launch, South Korea's mil­i­tary im­me­di­ately car­ried out a bal­lis­tic mis­sile drill of its own.


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