Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

North Korea threatens US, Japan over United Nations sanctions

We should worry more about Pakistan than North Korea Getty Images
Dexter Carr | 15 September, 2017, 00:31

The United States, South Korea and other governments have yet to confirm that the North tested such a weapon, but the September 3 test, the North's sixth, was by far its most powerful to date.

The statement, released through the North's state media, came at the same time that a group of defense analysts, after studying recent satellite images, said they had detected new vehicles, mining carts and other signs of activity at the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site in northeast North Korea.

On Wednesday, officials from North Korea's Foreign Ministry responded to a new list of sanctions from the U.N. Security Council, saying that they were committed to pursuing the program, "at a faster pace without the slightest diversion", the New York Times reported.

North Korea responded to the "vicious" sanctions by vowing to inflict "the greatest pain" the USA has ever suffered.

Leader Kim Jong Un had also threatened to launch missiles over Japan into the Pacific and toward the US territory of Guam.

"I believe what President Trump wanted to say was that, not only South Korea and the United States, but also China and Russian Federation all together need to respond very firmly against North Korea's nuclear provocations", he said.

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Pyongyang has ramped up missile testing this year, and earlier this month it conducted its sixth nuclear test, believed to be the most powerful yet, and has also claimed it has the capability to mount a hydrogen bomb on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the mainland US.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, claimed the measures - which are a watered-down version of the original US-drafted plan - will starve North Korea of at least $1.3bn in annual revenues.

The watchdog noted Tuesday that images appeared to show two white vehicles near the north portal of the test "and their presence could be indicative of a post-test inspection effort". But the data were not sufficient to determine what type of nuclear device the North had detonated, it said.

"These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than seen after any of the North's previous five tests, and include additional slippage in pre-existing landslide scars and a possible subsidence crater", the report says.

The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which handles Pyongyang's external ties and propaganda, also singled out Tokyo for "dancing to the tune" of the US-led resolution.

The South Korean military said the air-to-surface Taurus missile was sacked from an F-15 fighter jet, then traveled through obstacles at low altitudes before precisely hitting a designated target over the sea off the country's western coast.

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