North Korea fires missile and reaffirms right to test weapons

(Seoul) North Korea fired what appeared to be a short-range missile at sea on Tuesday, the South Korean military said with its UN ambassador, shortly after it had claimed its country’s “legitimate right” to be tested in the face of “enemy” weapons policy United States and Seoul.

Posted on Sep 27, 2021 at 6:49 pm Updated Sep 28, 2021 at 10:40 am

Claire LEE Agence France-Presse

The device was fired into waters off the east coast from the northern Jagang province, according to the personnel of the southern armies. For his part, a spokesman for the Japanese Defense Ministry told AFP, on condition of anonymity, that this projectile “appears to be a ballistic missile”.

Less than an hour after the launch, North Korean UN Ambassador Kim Song told the UN General Assembly that his country had the “legitimate right” to test weapons and “strengthen (its) defense capabilities”.

“Hostile Will”

The US “should show in practice that it has no hostile will towards us,” continued the ambassador. “If so, we are ready to respond in the same way,” “but it doesn’t look like the United States is ready,” he said.

The statement is the latest in a series of ambiguous messages from Pyongyang days after Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, hinted at the possibility of a summit between the two Koreas while earlier calling for Seoul to give its ” hostile politics “.

The remarks responded to recent calls by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to officially declare an end to the 1950-53 inter-Korean conflict, which ended in a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty and technically left both sides more than half at war a century.

“Looks like North Korea wants to test the sincerity of Seoul in terms of improving inter-Korean relations,” Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, told AFP.

“Pyongyang will monitor and investigate Moon’s response after today’s launch and make decisions about possible easing measures,” he added.

“Critical moment”

South Korea’s National Security Council met urgently after the shooting on Tuesday. In a statement he lamented “this start at a time when political stability on the Korean peninsula is going through an extremely critical moment”.

The US State Department also issued a statement on Monday evening condemning the recent rocket fire.

“This launch represents a violation of the numerous resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and represents a threat to the neighbors (North Korea) and the international community,” he said, calling on Pyongyang to “start the dialogue”.

The US military said on the matter “to consult very close allies and partners” and assured that “the commitment of the United States to defend the Republic of Korea and Japan remains steadfast”.

France condemned the new start, ruling that these repeated shootings undermine “peace and security”. Paris calls on North Korea “to react to the dialogue proposals of the US and South Korea,” said the spokesman for French diplomacy.

Pyongyang has already launched several missiles this month, one with long-range cruise missiles and another, according to the South Korean military, with short-range ballistic missiles.

Seoul also successfully tested a submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) for the first time, making it one of the few nations to have this advanced technology.

It launched its third SLBM submarine on Tuesday as it spends billions building up its military capabilities

His talks with the US have stalled since the failure of the Hanoi summit in 2019 between Kim Jong-un and then US President Donald Trump.

The administration of President Joe Biden has agreed to hold unconditional talks with Pyongyang, but the dialogue has been suspended for the time being.

Weapons programs have moved forward since Kim Jong-un became head of state, but Pyongyang has not conducted nuclear tests or ICBM fire since 2017.

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