N Korea tests rocket launcher system
North Korea said on Saturday its leader Kim Jong Un supervised another test-firing of a new multiple rocket launcher system that could potentially enhance the country’s ability to strike targets in South Korea and US military bases there.
The report by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency came a day after South Korea’s military said it detected North Korea firing projectiles twice into the sea off its eastern coast in its third round of weapons tests in just over a week.
The North’s new launches came as the UK, France and Germany - following a closed UN Security Council briefing - condemned the North’s recent ballistic activity as violations of UN sanctions and urged Pyongyang to engage in “meaningful negotiations” with the US on eliminating its nukes.
In a separate report carried through KCNA on Saturday, an unidentified spokesperson of North Korea’s foreign ministry criticised the statement released by the three countries, saying that the North never has and never will recognize the UN resolutions it sees as a “grave provocation” against its government.
The spokesperson said North Korea has never signed an agreement with any country to limit the range of missiles and other projectiles it tests and wasn’t bound to any legal requirement. The spokesperson said the North’s unilateral suspension of nuclear and intercontinental range ballistic missile tests, announced by Kim last year amid a diplomatic outreach to Washington, was based on “goodwill and consideration for a dialogue power.”
President Donald Trump said on Friday that North Korea’s recent tests of short-range rockets and missiles may run afoul of United Nations resolutions but haven’t violated agreements with his administration.
He also said that he believes Kim still seeks to reach an agreement with him.