(Seoul) North Korea fired a “projectile” at sea on Tuesday when its UN ambassador claimed his country’s “legitimate right” to test weapons in the face of “hostile policies” by the US and Seoul.
Posted on Sep 27, 2021 at 6:49 pm Updated at 7:41 pm
Claire LEE Agence France-Presse
According to the South Korean army, North Korea fired an “unidentified projectile” off its east coast at dawn on Tuesday. 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”.
This is Pyongyang’s third recording this month. The first was a long-range cruise missile and the second was a short-range ballistic missile.
At almost the same time, the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Song, told the UN General Assembly that his country had the “legitimate right” to test weapons and “strengthen (its) defense capabilities”.
“Nobody can deny North Korea the legitimate right to self-defense, to develop, test, manufacture and possess weapons systems,” emphasized the diplomat and called on the US to end its “hostile policy”.
“We are only strengthening our national defense capabilities to defend ourselves and reliably ensure the security and peace of the country,” added Kim Song.
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” to go in that direction, he said.
The Americans should “stop their military exercises and stop deploying a strategic range against our country,” demanded the North Korean ambassador.
North Korea has multiplied the ambiguous messages regarding Washington and Seoul in the past few days.
The shooting on Tuesday came 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 abandon “hostile policies”.
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 Seoul’s sincerity about its willingness to improve inter-Korean relations and officially end the Korean War,” Yang Moo told AFP. jin, professor at the University of North Korean Studies.
Pyongyang will monitor and study Moon’s response after today’s launch and make decisions “about possible easing measures,” he added.
Pyongyang is now more isolated than ever since its borders were closed early last year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
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.
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.