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North Korea fired what appears to be a short-range missile at sea on Tuesday, the South Korean military said. At the same time, his ambassador to the UN claimed his country’s “legitimate right” to test weapons against the “hostile policies” of Washington and Seoul.
New shot from North Korea. Pyongyang fired what appeared to be a short-range missile at sea on Tuesday, September 28, the South Korean military said.
The device was fired from the northern province of Jagang into waters off the east coast, according to the staff of the southern armies. A spokesman for the Japanese Ministry of Defense, for his part, told AFP on condition of anonymity that this projectile “appears to be a ballistic missile”.
This is the third shot made by Pyongyang in September. The first involved a long-range cruise missile, and the second a short-range ballistic missile.
Less than an hour after the launch, North Korean Ambassador to the UN Kim Song told the UN General Assembly that his country has a “legitimate right” to test weapons and ” strengthen (its) defense capabilities “.
Washington “condemns” the shooting and calls for “dialogue”
The United States “should prove in practice that it has no hostile will towards us,” the ambassador continued. “If so, we are prepared to respond ‘the same way,’ but it doesn’t look like the United States is ready” to take that direction, he said.
The US State Department on Tuesday condemned the further missile fire by North Korea, while calling on Pyongyang for dialogue.
“The United States condemns the launch of a missile,” the State Department said in a statement. “This launch constitutes a violation of the multiple resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations and represents a threat to the neighbors (of North Korea) and the international community”, he added while calling on Pyongyang “to engage the dialogue”.
“Although we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to United States personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launch highlights the destabilizing impact of the illicit weapons program.” Pyongyang, for its part, said the American Indo-Pacific Military Command (Indopacom) in a statement.
The US military added “to consult closely (its) allies and partners” on this subject, assuring that “the commitment of the United States to defend the Republic of Korea and Japan remains unshakeable”.
North Korea has multiplied in recent days the ambiguous messages with regard to Washington and Seoul.
Tuesday’s shooting comes days after Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, hinted at the possibility of a summit between the two Koreas, while demanding that Seoul give up beforehand. its “hostile policy”.
“Testing Seoul’s Sincerity”
The remarks responded to recent calls by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to declare an official end to the inter-Korean conflict of 1950-53 which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving the two parties technically at war for more than half a century.
South Korea’s National Security Council met urgently after the shooting on Tuesday. In a statement, he “deplored this launch at a time when political stability on the Korean peninsula is going through an extremely critical moment.”
“Looks like North Korea wants to test Seoul’s sincerity in terms of improving inter-Korean ties,” Yang Moo-jin, professor at the University of North Studies told AFP. Korean. “Pyongyang will monitor and study Moon’s reaction after today’s launch and make decisions” on possible easing measures, he added.
Pyongyang is currently more isolated than ever since its borders were closed early last year to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
His talks with the United States have stalled since the failure of the 2019 Hanoi summit between Kim Jong-un and then-US President Donald Trump. President Joe Biden’s government has made it known that it is ready to talk to Pyongyang at any time and without preconditions, but the dialogue remains at a standstill for now.
Since Kim Jong-un took over as head of the country, weapons programs have progressed, but Pyongyang has not conducted any nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile fire since 2017.