N. Korea seeks military “equilibrium” with US
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.
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.