Times Standard (Eureka)

NKorea calls UN chief’s remarks on missile test ‘unfair’

- By Hyung-Jin Kim

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA >> North Korea on Wednesday accused U.N. SecretaryG­eneral Antonio Guterres of “an extremely unfair and imbalanced attitude,” as it lambasted him for condemning its recent missile test but ignoring alleged U.S. hostility against the North.

The accusation came as U.S., South Korean and Japanese destroyers were holding trilateral anti-missile training near the Korean Peninsula, a move the North could regard as a provocatio­n.

After the North’s interconti­nental ballistic missile test on Saturday, Guterres strongly condemned the launch and reiterated his call for the North to immediatel­y desist from making any further provocatio­ns. In a statement, Guterres also urged North Korea to resume talks on denucleari­zation of the Korean Peninsula.

“To be most deplorable, the U.N. secretary-general is going on the rampage of illogical and miserable remarks, which are little different from those of U.S. State Department officials over the years,” Kim Son Gyong, the North’s vice foreign minister for internatio­nal bodies, said in a statement carried by state media.

Kim said North Korea’s ICBM test was a response to the security threat the U.S. posed to the North by temporaril­y deploying longrange bombers for joint training with South Korea earlier this year. Kim said the test was also a warning to the earlier convocatio­n of the U.N. Security Council on the North.

North Korea views U.S.South Korea military drills as an invasion rehearsal and is particular­ly sensitive to the U.S. mobilizati­on of B-1B bombers that can carry a massive convention­al payload of both guided and unguided weapons. After the North’s ICBM test, the United States flew B-1B bombers again for separate drills with South Korean and Japanese warplanes.

“The U.N. secretary-general should clearly understand that his unreasonab­le and prejudiced stand on the Korean Peninsula issue is acting as a factor inciting the hostile acts of the U.S. and its followers against (North Korea),” Kim said.

Last November, North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui called Guterres “a puppet of the United States” for condemning an earlier ICBM test by the North.

Saturday’s ICBM test, the North’s first missile test since Jan. 1, was made on a steep angle to avoid neighborin­g countries. The reported launch details again suggested the North has missiles that can reach the U.S. mainland. But many foreign experts say the North still must master some last remaining technologi­es to acquire functionin­g nucleartip­ped missiles, such as one shielding missiles from the harsh conditions during atmospheri­c reentry.

In response to the latest U.S. deployment of B1-B bombers on Sunday, North Korea said its 600-millimeter multiple rocket launcher fired two rounds off its east coast the next day. North Korea has said its rockets can carry nuclear warheads. South Korea views the weapons as a short-range ballistic missile.

In a closed-door briefing at parliament Wednesday, South Korea’s military intelligen­ce authoritie­s said that North Korea could conduct further provocatio­ns such as a nuclear test, a spy satellite launch or an ICBM test on a standard trajectory, according to Yoo Sang-bum, a lawmaker who attended the meeting.

South Korea and the United States are to hold a set of joint military drills in coming weeks, including a table-top exercise set to take place at the Pentagon on Wednesday.

The U.S.-South KoreaJapan exercise Wednesday took place in internatio­nal waters off the Korean Peninsula’s east coast. The three countries were meant to practice procedures to detect, track and intercept missiles while sharing related informatio­n among themselves, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. It was their first trilateral training in four months.

Last year, North Korea test-launched more than 70 missiles, the most ever in a single year, as part of its efforts to enlarge its weapons arsenal. Observers say the North would eventually want to win internatio­nal recognitio­n as a legitimate nuclear state and use that status as a way to get U.N. and other internatio­nal sanctions on it lifted.

 ?? MARY ALTAFFER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE ?? United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the 77th session of the General Assembly at U.N. headquarte­rs on Sept. 20.
MARY ALTAFFER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the 77th session of the General Assembly at U.N. headquarte­rs on Sept. 20.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States