North Korea defends right to fire missiles and warns US of ‘catastrophic consequences’ of conflict

29 August, 2017

 

By Jon Sharman

 

North Korea’s envoy to the UN has warned the US to expect “catastrophic consequences” if the current war of words continues to escalate, as the country defended its right to carry out Tuesday’s missile test.

A short-range ballistic missile flew over Hokkaido, one of Japan’s main island territories, before splashing down in the Pacific. The launch was condemned by Tokyo as an “unprecedented, serious and grave threat” to the region.

The North’s envoy told the UN’s disarmament forum: “My country has every reason to respond with tough counter-measures as an exercise of its right to self-defence.

“The US should be fully responsible for the catastrophic consequences it will entail.”

Washington was driving the Korean peninsula “towards an extreme level of explosion” by deploying its strategic assets there, the envoy claimed.

Pyongyang’s 13th missile test this year came amid joint US and South Korean war games, and following the South’s own missile tests last week.

US President Donald Trump suggested last week that Kim Jong-un “is starting to respect us” following a series of tough statements he had made—promising “fire and fury like the world has never seen” and declaring the US military “locked and loaded”.

His harsh rhetoric prompted similar from Pyongyang and did not appear to deter the regime, which only days ago launched three short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan.

On Tuesday morning China, North Korea’s sole major ally, urged restraint on all sides and called for diplomatic talks. – INDEPENDENT

 

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