Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Presiding over first National Security Council meeting, Moon condemns N. Korea's provocations

Frank Williams | 10 June, 2017, 21:12

North Korea confirmed on Friday that its Thursday missile launch was successful and was aimed at testing a new cruise anti-ship missile, the state KCNA news agency reported.

Pyongyang on Friday hailed the successful test of a new type of surface-to-ship cruise missile, which it said was created to hit "any enemy group of battleships" that threatened North Korea.

North Korea has reliable short- and mid-range ballistic missiles, and its new intermediate-range ballistic missile has a range just short of an intercontinental ballistic missile and could comfortably hit Guam.

The tension in North Korea is growing worse every month as the missile development is gaining pace.

In the statement, made in response to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's remarks during his visit to New Zealand, the spokesman criticized the US top diplomat's "trite and unconvincing reasons for tightening sanctions against North Corea".

North Korea's weapons tests are meant to build a nuclear and missile program that can stand up to what it sees as USA and South Korean hostility, but they are also considered by outside analysts as ways to make its political demands clear to leaders in Washington and Seoul. Experts said the new anti-ship missile has four launching canisters.

The reclusive state has ordered three ballistic missile launches, a surface-to-air missile, and now Thursday's cruise missile tests since the South Korea's President Moon Jae-in took power in early May.

"North Korea's actions just prove ... that something along the lines of THAAD is something that's important to not only protect USA forces, to protect our alliance, and also to protect - help to further strengthen the region", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday during a briefing.

Richard Hammond in serious vehicle crash filming Grand Tour
He was in a remote part of Mozambique in east Africa shooting the programme when the accident occurred, according to The Sun. Local police spokesman Gian Andrea Rezzoli confirmed to the website that one person was injured and brought to hospital.

In what will likely become another source of animosities, Moon's government said it will let two of the four North Korean fishermen recently rescued at sea resettle in the South in accordance with their wishes. He warned that North Korea could face further global isolation and more economic difficulties.

The future of the program has been uncertain since South Korea announced the suspension.

Seoul said it would delay the installation of remaining components of the THAAD anti-missile system until it completes an assessment of the system's environmental impact.

But it may assuage the administration of US President Donald Trump, which has leant heavily on Beijing to help rein in Pyongyang.

What is the position made by the United States over Pyongyang's missile tests?

The EU said it would freeze the assets of 14 more people and ban their travel to Europe in line with a UN Security Council resolution last week for more sanctions over Pyongyang's ballistic missile tests.

In addition to conducting missile tests at "an alarming rate" over the previous year, Syring says North Korea has also shown off technology that supports development of more capable and longer-range missiles.

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