2021-09-28 03:24:05 North Korea Launches Short-Range Missile as Country’s Envoy Speaks at U.N.
North Korea Launches Short-Range Missile as Country’s Envoy Speaks at U.N.
SEOUL, South Korea — The South Korean military said North Korea fired a short-range missile off its east coast on Tuesday, just as the North’s ambassador to the United Nations urged the US to end joint military exercises and withdraw strategic weapons from the Korean Peninsula.
After talks with the Trump administration broke down in 2019, the North resumed short-range ballistic missile tests. Pyongyang carried out its most recent missile tests on September 15, when it launched two ballistic missiles in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibiting the country from developing or testing ballistic missiles or nuclear devices.
Although aimed at South Korea and Japan, as well as American troops stationed there, these short-range missiles are not as concerning as the North’s intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The missile launch on Tuesday came three days after Kim Jong-sister un’s said on Saturday that the North would consider holding a summit meeting with South Korea and declaring an official end to the Korean War if the South could restore trust with Pyongyang.
Kim Yo-statement jong’s had raised cautious hopes that North Korea might be ready to resume dialogue, two and a half years after Mr. Kim’s diplomacy with former President Donald J. Trump collapsed in early 2019 without an agreement on ending the North’s nuclear weapons programs and lifting sanctions.
However, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, North Korea’s ambassador, Kim Song, reiterated that Washington must end its “hostile policy” toward his country if the peninsula is to be peaceful. The Korean War was ended in a truce in 1953, but the peninsula remained technically at war.
“If the United States wants to see the Korean War, the world’s longest and longest-lasting war, end, and if it is truly desirous of peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, it should take the first step toward abandoning its hostile policy,” Mr. Kim, the ambassador, said.
The first step, he says, is to “permanently halt joint military exercises and the deployment of all types of strategic weapons” in and around the peninsula.
North Korea has long maintained that its nuclear arsenal is only for self-defense. Washington has repeatedly urged the North to resume nuclear disarmament talks, claiming that it has no hostile intentions toward the isolated, impoverished country.
However, North Korea has yet to respond to the Biden administration’s proposal that talks resume “without preconditions” at any time, anywhere.
The North has insisted that negotiations are pointless unless it is convinced that the US will abandon its “hostile policy.” That is usually a reference to joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea, as well as the American military presence on the peninsula and United Nations sanctions imposed on the North due to its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development.
Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump’s talks broke down when North Korea demanded that Washington lift all of the most severe U.N. sanctions in exchange for a partial dismantling of its nuclear weapons program.
Mr. Trump turned down Mr. Kim’s offer, insisting on a more rapid and comprehensive dismantling of the North’s nuclear program.
Mr. Kim, the North’s envoy, stated at the United Nations on Monday evening that his country would continue with its nuclear program.
“Given that the U.S. and the U.S.-South Korea military alliance increase military threats against the D.P.R.K., nobody can deny the righteous right to self-defense for the D.P.R.K. to develop, test, manufacture and possess the weapon systems equivalent to the ones which are possessed or being developed by them,” said Mr. Kim, using the abbreviation for his country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.