Kim Tong Hyun

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The United States called on Friday for tougher UN sanctions after North Korea said it had conducted a test launch of its largest intercontinental ballistic missile to date, and Kim Jong Un has promised to expand. war ”of his country in preparation for a“ long confrontation ”with the United States.

North Korean state media reported the first long-range test since 2017, and South Korea and Japan said they had discovered it. Thursday’s launch extended a series of gun demonstrations this year, which analysts say are aimed at forcing the United States to accept North Korea’s idea of ​​a nuclear power and lift sanctions against its devastated economy.

At a meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, US Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield said the United States was proposing a resolution “to renew and strengthen” Security Council sanctions. She declined to say what the new measures were.

“It is clear that silence in the hope that the DPRK will also show restraint is a failed strategy,” she said. The DPRK is an abbreviation of the official name of the country, the North Korean People’s Democratic Republic.

The council originally imposed sanctions after the first test nuclear explosion in the North in 2006 and tightened them over the years. But last fall, China and Russia, which have veto power, called for the lifting of various sanctions against their neighbor.

Russia’s deputy ambassador, Anna Yevstigneyeva, said on Friday that further sanctions would only hurt the people of North Korea, and Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun called on the council to “consider how to address North Korea’s legitimate security concerns.”

He suggested that the US had not done enough to respond to the 2018 pause imposed by the North on long-range missile and nuclear tests, and should “demonstrate its goodwill” and “work harder to stabilize the situation” and resume dialogue.

North Korea did not speak at the council meeting. A message asking for comment was sent to his UN mission.

Meanwhile, the United States has imposed new sanctions against five legal entities and individuals in Russia and North Korea for transferring confidential items to North Korea’s missile program, said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

North Korean state television played out the rocket test process like a Hollywood movie, showing Kim walking in slow motion in front of a giant rocket in sunglasses and a black leather motorcycle jacket. After a series of quick cuts by Kim and the military looking at his watch, Kim takes off the curtains and nods, and you can see the rocket rolling out of the hangar.

Hwasong-17, which was fired at a large angle to avoid the territorial waters of neighbors, reached a maximum altitude of 6248 kilometers (3880 miles) and traveled 1090 kilometers (680 miles) during a 67-minute flight before landing in waters between North Korea and Japan , said the official central news agency of Pyongyang.

The KCNA said the launch matched its technical objectives and proved that the ICBM could operate quickly in a military setting.

The South Korean and Japanese military have announced similar details of the flight, which analysts believe the missile could reach a target at a distance of 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles) when firing on a normal trajectory with a warhead weighing less than a ton. This would place the entire continental United States within striking distance.

It is believed that its length is about 25 meters (82 feet), Hwasong-17 is the most distant weapon in the north and, by some estimates, the world’s largest road-mobile ballistic missile system. North Korea showed a missile at a military parade in October 2020, and Thursday’s launch was the first full-range test.

The KCNA paraphrased Kim, saying the new weapon would allow the “whole world to be clearly aware” of the North’s enhanced nuclear forces. He promised that his troops would acquire “formidable military and technical capabilities, not disrupted by any military threat and blackmail, and be fully prepared for a prolonged confrontation with the US imperialists.”

The agency released photos of the rocket, leaving a trail of orange flames as it took off from a launcher on the airport runway near the capital Pyongyang, and Kim smiled and clapped as he celebrated with military officials from the observation deck.

Other images show Kim writing a note ordering a Hwasun-17 test flight and approving the launch. Kim issued handwritten orders for some of his administration’s most significant weapons demonstrations, including the ICBM’s last test flight in November 2017, which completed a highly provocative launch of nuclear and missile tests that sparked an oral exchange of war threats with then -President Donald Trump.

While Thursday’s test was North Korea’s most powerful demonstration of its ICBM capabilities to date, some experts questioned whether North hides key details about the launch.

Colin Tsvirka, a senior analyst at North Korea’s NK Pro website, said commercial satellite imagery shows that footage of the North Korean state television launch was probably shot on a different date. He said it increases the likelihood that North Korea thwarted the Hwasong-17 test on March 16, when the South Korean military said it had discovered a missile that exploded shortly after takeoff at the airport, and tried to pass footage of the failure by any missile. launched on Thursday.

South Korean news agency Yonhap quoted unnamed military officials as wondering if North Korea had launched a smaller Hwasong-15 with certain modifications to increase its range.

The South Korean military reacted to the launch on Thursday with combat exercises with its own missiles launched from land, fighter and ship, which highlighted the resurgence of tensions as diplomacy remains frozen. He said he had reaffirmed his readiness to strike accurately at North Korea’s missile launches, as well as at command and support facilities.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin held separate telephone conversations with his counterparts in South Korea and Japan, where they discussed response measures to North Korea’s missile activities and promised to strengthen defense cooperation, the U.S. Defense Department said in a statement.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said he spoke by phone with his South Korean counterpart Chung Ai Yon. The Seoul Ministry of Inter-Korean Affairs, which deals with inter-Korean issues, has criticized the North for violating the moratorium on ICB tests.

“Whatever North Korea’s intentions, North Korea must immediately end actions that are creating tensions on the Korean Peninsula and destabilizing the regional security situation, and return to the table for dialogue and talks,” said ministry spokesman Cha Doc Chol at a briefing.

Thursday’s test was North Korea’s 12th round of launches this year and the most provocative since US President Joe Biden took office.

The restoration of North Korea’s nuclear border reflects a determination to consolidate its nuclear status and snatch economic concessions from Washington and others from a position of strength, analysts say. Kim may also feel the need to trumpet about his military achievements and strengthen internal loyalty while the country faces economic difficulties.

Other recent tests have included alleged hypersonic weapons, long-range and medium-range cruise missiles that could reach Guam, a major U.S. military center in the Pacific. The U.S. and South Korean military were counting on a full test of the Hwasong-17 after two of the recent medium-range launches included components of the new ICBM.

After a series of nuclear tests and ICBM tests in 2017, Kim suspended such tests before his first meeting with Trump. But diplomacy derailed in 2019 when the Americans rejected North Korea’s demands for a serious lifting of sanctions against the North in exchange for a limited surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

The ICBMs, launched in three test flights in 2017, have demonstrated that they can reach the mainland U.S. The larger Hwasong-17 can be armed with a variety of warheads to overcome missile defenses.

In January, North Korea’s ruling party issued a veiled threat to lift Kim’s moratorium on intercontinental balloon bolts and nuclear tests, citing U.S. hostility.

The South Korean military has also found signs that North Korea may rebuild some of the nuclear tunnels it blew up before Kim’s first meeting with Trump in 2018. Some experts say North Korea could resume nuclear tests in the coming months.


Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz spoke from the United Nations. Marie Yamaguchi of Tokyo contributed to the report.

Source link

Previous articleTaylor Hawkins dies: Drummer Foo Fighters was 50 years old
Next articleOscar red carpet: iconic fashion highlights include swan dress from Bjork, Cher Bob Mackie dress