North Korea’s missile tests could violate UN rules, says Donald Trump
North Korea conducted its third test in a week of a new short-range ballistic missile that weapons experts say was designed to strike US allies.Updated: Aug 03, 2019, 12:13 IST
President Donald Trump said 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.
North Korea on Friday conducted its third test in a week of a new short-range ballistic missile that weapons experts say was designed to strike US allies in East Asia. Its leader Kim Jong Un praised the launch, which its state news agency said ‘satisfactorily confirmed’ the performance, capability and accuracy of the rocket system.
Trump has met three times with Kim in the hope of persuading him to surrender his nation’s nuclear arsenal. While the diplomacy has led Kim to cease tests of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles that once threatened the US mainland, Trump has little else to show for his effort.
But on Friday, the president said that he believes Kim still seeks to reach an agreement with him.
“Chairman Kim does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust, there is far too much for North Korea to gain,” Trump said in the second of three tweets. “Also, there is far too much to lose.
“I may be wrong, but I believe that Chairman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as president, can make that vision come true,” he added.
North Korea slammed a meeting convened by the United Nations Security Council to discuss its latest missile launches, saying the gathering “challenges its sovereignty.” The UNSC taking issue with projectiles using ballistic technology is the “same as asking North Korea to give up its rights to self-defense,” according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, citing a foreign ministry spokesperson.
“Our decision to halt nuclear tests and inter-continental ballistic missile tests is an act of good faith and consideration for our dialogue partners, not for the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions targeted at North Korea,” KCNA reported. North Korea has “never made an agreement with any country to limit its projectiles’ distances, including missiles, nor is it held to a relevant international law,” it said.
“We are acting with maximum patience by not launching an inter-continental ballistic missile for over 20 months,” the spokesperson said. The U.K., France and Germany aren’t helping ease military tensions on the Korean peninsula, and are instead worsening the situation, KCNA said.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said at a Bangkok summit earlier on Friday that the missile tests wouldn’t interfere with US efforts to re-start talks with Kim. The two sides haven’t made progress since Trump walked out of a summit with Kim in Hanoi in February after the North Korean made what the US side considered unreasonable demands.
“You should never doubt what we are communicating to North Korea, there are conversations going on even as we speak,” Pompeo said in a question-and-answer session with Bloomberg TV’s Haslinda Amin. But he noted the diplomatic road is often a bumpy one.
“We are still fully committed to achieving the outcome that we laid out, for a fully, verified denuclearization of North Korea, and to do so through the measure of diplomacy.”
Friday’s projectile reached at altitude of about 25 kilometers (15 miles) and flew for about 225 kilometers at a maximum speed of Mach 6.9, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said. This means it could strike some US military bases in the country a minute or two after launch.
North Korea appears to be testing its KN-23, solid-fuel, short-range ballistic missile, with its first test coming in May followed by another volley that month and three more since July 25.
The KN-23, similar to a Russian Iskander, is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and has been shown to fly as far as 690 kilometers -- putting US allies South Korea and parts of Japan at risk. It’s designed to be mobile, which makes it easier to hide, and fly at a height and speed that makes it hard for US interceptor systems to shoot down, weapons experts have said.
(The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text, only the headline has been changed)