North Korea has fired another missile as Pyongyang calls on the United States and South Korea to scrap their "double standards" on weapons programs and restart talks.
The missile was launched from the central north province of Jagang on Tuesday about 6.40am local time, the South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Japan's defence ministry said it appeared to be a ballistic missile, without elaborating.
The latest test underscored the steady development of North Korea's weapons systems, raising the stakes for stalled talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals in return for US sanctions relief.
The launch came just before North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Song, urged the United States to give up its hostile policy towards Pyongyang, and said no one could deny his country's right to self defence and to test weapons.
He demanded that the United States “permanently” stop its military exercises with South Korea, which the North has traditionally described as invasion rehearsals, and end the deployment of US strategic weapons if it wants to end the 1950-53 Korean War ,and “is really desirous of peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.”
“The possible outbreak of a new war on the Korean Peninsula is contained not because of the US’s mercy on the DPRK, it is because our state is growing a reliable deterrent that can control the hostile forces in an attempted military invasion,” he said.
'Korean war has not ended'
The Biden administration recently announced that it terminated the longest war in Afghanistan after 20 years, the ambassador said, “but the US is still ignoring the reality that the Korean War has not ended for over 70 years".
“We are just building up our national defence in order to defend ourselves and reliably safeguard the security and peace of the country,” Mr Kim said.
The United States stations various cutting edge military assets including nuclear bombers and fighter jets in South Korea, Guam and Japan as part of efforts to keep not only North Korea, but also an increasingly assertive China in check.
Mr Kim's speech was in line with Pyongyang's recent criticism that Seoul and Washington denounce its weapons development while continuing their own military activities.
Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has said the North is willing to improve inter-Korean ties and consider another summit if Seoul abandons its double standards and hostile policy toward Pyongyang.
"The conditions she suggested were essentially to demand that the North be accepted as a nuclear weapons state," Shin Beom-chul, a senior fellow at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy in Seoul, said.
"Their goal is to achieve that prestige and drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, taking advantage of Moon's craving for diplomatic legacy as his term is running out."
with Reuters and The Associated Press
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