North Korea on Wednesday rejected a U.N. Security Council statement that denounced the country's ballistic missile test and urged itto “fully comply with its international obligations to denuclearize.”
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesmandefended the missile test, according to Reuters, which cited North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency. The official claimed that conducting the missile test was aimed at testing a self-defense measure and that it was the country's sovereign right.
In a statementMonday, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, said: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the launch of another ballistic missile by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 12 February.”
The U.N. said North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons delivery systems is increasing tension, addingthat the launch “is a further troubling violation” of Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2321 (2016) thatstrengthened sanctions against the regime. The statement also said that North Korea is choosing to invest in weaponization while the country's citizens “have great unmet needs.”
North KoreaassertedMonday that thePukguksong-2, whichit successfully test-fired, is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The missile used in the latest test traveled 300 miles before plunging into the Sea of Japan. The test had occurredduringJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the United States.
On Sunday, Trump responded to the missile test with an assurance to Abe that Washington was committed to the security of its key Asian ally. However, Trump did not directly name North Korea in his statement.
"I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent," he said,without elaborating.
Abe denounced Pyongyang's missile launch as "absolutely intolerable" while top government spokesman Yoshihide Suge told reporters in Tokyo it was "clearly a provocation to Japan and the region."
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