North Korea warns of ‘big­ger gift pack­age’ for US af­ter lat­est test

Panay News - - WORLD -

NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong Un su­per­vised the test of a new bal­lis­tic mis­sile con­trolled by a pre­ci­sion guid­ance sys­tem and or­dered the de­vel­op­ment of more pow­er­ful strate­gic weapons, the North’s of­fi­cial KCNA news agency re­ported on Tues­day.

The mis­sile launched on Mon­day was equipped with an ad­vanced au­to­mated pre- launch se­quence com­pared with pre­vi­ous ver­sions of the “Hwa­song” rock­ets, North Korea’s name for its Scud- class mis­siles, KCNA said. That in­di­cated the North had launched a mod­i­fied Scud- class mis­sile, as South Korea’s mil­i­tary has said.

The North’s test launch of a short-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile landed in the sea off its east coast and was the lat­est in a fast- paced se­ries of mis­sile tests de­fy­ing in­ter­na­tional pres­sure and threats of more sanc­tions.

Kim said the reclu­sive state would de­velop more pow­er­ful weapons in mul­ti­ple phases in ac­cor­dance with its timetable to de­fend North Korea against the United States.

“He ex­pressed the con­vic­tion that it would make a greater leap for­ward in this spirit to send a big­ger ‘gift pack­age’ to the Yan­kees” in re­tal­i­a­tion for Amer­i­can mil­i­tary provo­ca­tion, KCNA quoted Kim as say­ing.

South Korea said it had con­ducted a joint drill with a U.S. su­per­sonic B-1B Lancer bomber on Mon­day. North Korea’s state me­dia ear­lier ac­cused the United States of stag­ing a drill to prac­tise drop­ping nu­clear bombs on the Korean penin­sula.

The US Navy said its air­craft car­rier strike group, led by the USS Carl Vin­son, also planned a drill with another U.S. nu­clear car­rier, the USS Ronald Rea­gan, in wa­ters near the Korean penin­sula.

A US Navy spokesman in South Korea did not give spe­cific tim­ing for the strike group’s planned drill.

North Korea calls such drills a prepa­ra­tion for war.

Mon­day’s launch fol­lowed two suc­cess­ful tests of medium- to- long- range mis­siles in as many weeks by the North, which has been con­duct­ing such tests at an un­prece­dented pace in an ef­fort to de­velop an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile (ICBM) ca­pa­ble of hit­ting the main­land United States.

Such launches, and two nu­clear tests since Jan­uary 2016, have been con­ducted in de­fi­ance of US pres­sure, UN res­o­lu­tions and the threat of more sanc­tions.

They also pose one of the great­est se­cu­rity chal­lenges for US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who por­trayed the lat­est mis­sile test as an af­front to China.

“North Korea has shown great dis­re­spect for their neigh­bor, China, by shoot­ing off yet another bal­lis­tic mis­sile ... but China is try­ing hard!” Trump said on Twit­ter.

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