North Korea tests US, UN resolve in latest missile test over Japan

North Korean state media reports its leader Kim Jong-un as having vowed to establish an "equilibrium" of military force with the US, weeks after the approval of two new rounds of UN sanctions

Staff Reporter
16 September 2017, 9:15am
Ballistic missile launch. File photo.
Ballistic missile launch. File photo.
North Korea has launched another ballistic missile over Japan on Friday, in the latest test of both its weapons and the international community's diplomatic and military resolve.

North Korean state media reports its leader Kim Jong-un as having vowed to reach the country's nuclear goals with the ultimate aim of establishing an "equilibrium" of military force with the US.

Kim's comments were made in the aftermath of North Korea's latest missile launch over Japan – which has been described as the country's farthest-reaching test.

The move once again split the opinion of world powers who had united behind new UN sanctions against North Korea just days ago.

"We should clearly show the big power chauvinists how our state attain the goal of completing its nuclear force despite their limitless sanctions and blockade," Mr Kim was quoted as saying by the KCNA. He also said North Korea's goal was "to establish the equilibrium of real force with the US and make the US rulers dare not talk about military option for the DPRK [North Korea]".

Mr Kim personally watched the launch of the Hwasong-12 ballistic missile on Friday. The missile reached an altitude of about 770km, travelling 3,700km past the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido before hitting the sea, South Korea's military said. This makes it the farthest launched missile yet and puts the US territory of Guam within range.

The UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting, in which members unanimously condemned the launch as "highly provocative" – particulary having been made after Pyongyang's last test, on September 3rd, of a hydrogen bomb that can be delivered by the Hwasong-12.

Increasing the sabre-rattling, US President Donald Trump said North Korea had "once again shown its utter contempt for its neighbours, and the entire world community", saying he was more confident than ever that the US was ready should military force be needed. This view was not shared by Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vasiliy Nebenzia, who urged caution, saying: "We think that threats, tests, launches, and mutual threats in fact should be stopped, and that we should engage in meaningful negotiations."

China, which was instrumental in enforcing two new rounds of UN sanctions within a matter of weeks also doubts that sanctions alone, no mater how tough, will deter Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai advised Washington to avoid making threats and to resume dialogue instead. China has repeatedly stated that it will never accept North Korea as a nuclear armed state.

No new sanctions have been announced at the Council's meeting. The only winner today is North Korea.