Conflicts & War

North Korea accuses Biden of ‘provocation’ after missile launch

Seoul, Mar 27 (efe-epa).- North Korea on Saturday accused the United States president’s response to its missile testing as an act of “provocation,” saying it has the right to self-defense and warning of possible consequences if these comments persist.

After Pyongyang on Thursday launched two ballistic missiles, the first since Joe Biden came to power and in breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions, the US president warned that “there will be responses if they choose to escalate.”

“We express our deep apprehension over the U.S. chief executive faulting the regular testfire, exercise of our state’s right to self-defence, as the violation of UN ‘resolutions’ and openly revealing his deep-seated hostility toward the DPRK,” said Marshal Ri Pyong-chol, one of the main figures of the regime and who presided over the launch, in a statement published by the state KCNA news agency.

“Such remarks from the U.S. president are an undisguised encroachment on our state’s right to self-defence and provocation to it.”

He added that “if the U.S. continues with its thoughtless remarks without thinking of the consequences, it may be faced with something that is not good.”

Ri, one of the five members of the presidium of the North Korean politburo, said it was “gangster-like logic that it is allowable for the U.S. to ship the strategic nuclear assets into the Korean peninsula and launch ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) any time it wants but not allowable for the DPRK, its belligerent party, to conduct even a test of a tactical weapon.”

“I think that the new U.S. administration obviously took its first step wrong,” he said.

Thursday’s test comes at a time marked by a review, commissioned by Biden, of the strategy with which Washington plans to deal with Pyongyang, which has demanded a return to the denuclearization dialog without preconditions, but has ignored US attempts at establishing contact.

The missiles tested by the North appear to be a new version of the KN-23, resembling the Russian Iskander, and which Pyongyang said is capable of carrying a 2.5-ton warhead.

The KN-23 has a sophisticated guidance system that allows it to trace trajectories that are not completely parabolic or ballistic, which makes it difficult to intercept and a serious threat to nearby countries such as South Korea and Japan.

In January, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned that he would begin testing new weapons if the Biden government did not propose new ideas for a return to the negotiating table. EFE-EPA


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