In rare move, North Korea defends missile test at UN

United Nations, Jul 13 (EFE).- North Korea participated a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation on the Korean Peninsula for the first time in several years on Thursday where it defended its latest ballistic missile test, which was condemned by the majority of member states.

The country’s ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, insisted that his country has the right to self-defense against what he described as threats and provocations by the United States and its allies.

He was speaking at an urgent meeting convened in response to Pyongyang’s Wednesday launch of a Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The last time North Korea spoke at such a meeting is believed to have been in 2017.

The Hwasong-18 is the regime’s solid-fueled ICBM and its most sophisticated long-range weapon. This is the second time that North Korea has tested this type of projectile, which this time crashed into the Sea of Japan after flying for about 74 minutes – the longest flight time recorded by any weapon launched by the country.

The launch of the missile was in exercise of North Korea’s right to self-defense to deter dangerous military moves by hostile forces, said Song.

He lashed out at Washington’s “aerial espionage acts” in his country, its promised dispatch of a nuclear submarine to the Republic of Korea, and the allies’ large-scale military drills, questioning how they contribute to peace on the peninsula.

As usual, the majority of the UNSC members condemned the test, which violates the resolutions of the body itself which, however, has not taken new measures against Pyongyang for a long time due to the positions of Russia and China. As permanent members, they have veto powers, and also blame the US for the tension in the region.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Russia and China have repeatedly prevented the UNSC from taking substantive action to respond to North Korea’s attempts to expand its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, which she said was unacceptable. She called on all members to unite to condemn Pyongyang’s behavior.

However, both Moscow and Beijing once again defended their stances and, although in the past they supported sanctions against Pyongyang, they made it clear that now they do not see them as appropriate and that they believe it is up to Washington to take the first steps to reduce the conflict. EFE


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