Pyongyang. After Joe Biden’s criticism of North Korea’s most recent missile test, the internationally isolated country accused the US president of “provocation”. With the test, North Korea exercised its right to self-defense, it said in a statement on Saturday. Biden made the first step wrong. The European members of the UN Security Council have now called for a non-public meeting of the body on the incident.
The veto powers France and Great Britain as well as the non-permanent members of the Security Council Ireland, Estonia and Norway requested the meeting for Tuesday. In addition, a committee on UN sanctions against North Korea asked its experts to investigate the new missile test, the diplomats said.
“The new US administration took the first step wrong
The Secretary of the Central Committee of the ruling Labor Party, Ri Pyong-chol, said of the criticism from the US: “I think that the new US administration has obviously taken the first step wrong.” Ri voiced Pyongyang’s usual accusation against the United States of pursuing hostile policies and threatening North Korea militarily. Biden’s words are a “blatant attack on our state’s right to self-defense and a provocation”.
According to South Korea and Japan, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles in the direction of the open sea on its east coast on Thursday. A day later, North Korea spoke of a successful test with a new type of tactical guided missile.
Biden had condemned the test as a violation of UN resolutions prohibiting North Korea from testing ballistic missiles of any range. Depending on the design, such missiles can also carry a nuclear warhead. Negotiations between the US and North Korea over its nuclear weapons program are currently on hold.
North Korea, which has already carried out several nuclear tests, has been pushing its missile program for many years. The focus is on the development of ballistic missiles, including long-range missiles, that could reach the United States.
According to several UN Security Council resolutions, North Korea is not allowed to develop ballistic missiles and is subject to international sanctions because of its weapons programs. North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong-un had in recent years relied on a rapprochement with Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump in order to have sanctions lifted. The negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang about dismantling the North Korean nuclear program have been on hold since February 2019. (what / dpa / afp)