N. Korea seeks mil­i­tary “equilib­rium” with US

The Freeman - - WORLD -

SEOUL, S. KOREA — North Korea said yes­ter­day 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 in­ter­me­di­ate-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile over Ja­pan on Fri­day, responding to a new round of UN sanc­tions over its sixth nu­clear test with its fur­thest-ever mis­sile flight.

"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.

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." Kim, ac­cord­ing to KCNA, said, "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."

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil con­demned Fri­day's launch as "highly provoca­tive" and US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sched­uled talks with the lead­ers of Ja­pan and South Korea to ad­dress the cri­sis.

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

Seoul's de­fense min­istry said it prob­a­bly trav­elled around 3,700 kilo­me­ters (2,300 miles) and reached a max­i­mum al­ti­tude of 770 kilo­me­ters.

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 pro­gram.

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.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

This un­dated com­bi­na­tion pic­ture re­leased from North Korea's of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency (KCNA) on Septem­ber 16, shows a launch­ing drill of the medium-and-long range strate­gic bal­lis­tic rocket Hwa­song-12 at an undis­closed lo­ca­tion. Kim vowed to com­plete North Korea's nu­clear force de­spite sanc­tions.

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