North Korea says US has to roll back 'hostile policy' before talks

Cheryl Sanders
May 20, 2017

The weapon was a Hwasong-12 medium long-range surface-to-surface missile which some experts believe represents a serious step towards a reliable intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the USA mainland.

Leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the launch and warned of "the worst-ever disaster" if the USA provoked the secretive state, claiming it is in "range of [nuclear] strikes", according to Rodong Sinmun on Monday.

While North Korea regularly tests shorter range missiles, it is also working to master the technology needed to field nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the USA mainland. "As concerned parties to the North Korea nuclear issue, both sides must make political commitments as soon as possible, show sincerity and make constructive efforts to engage in dialogue through substantive action". The United States is not past looking at third-country entities who are helping North Korea, and putting sanctions against them. There could be friction between the US and South Korea as well as the North.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un continued to draw attention to the country's successful missile test, according to state media on Saturday.

"The risky behavior by North Korea is not just a threat to the Korean Peninsula", he said, "it's a threat to Japan, it's a threat to China, it's a threat to Russian Federation - let me say that again... it's a threat to Russian Federation - it's a threat to the United States, it's a threat to the entire world".

"Therefore, the urgent issue to be settled on Korean Peninsula is to put a definite end to the U.S. hostile policy towards DPRK, the root cause of all problems".

Before an emergency meeting of the council Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley declared: "You either support North Korea or you don't, but you have to choose". Joseph Bermudez Jr. an analyst at the United States firm Allsource Analysis said to the Wall Street Journal: "What's more concerning is not an individual test or two individual tests, it's that they're approaching their missile development in a very pragmatic way".

The long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) is launched during a test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

It's not just the unpredictability of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that make the volatile situation in and around the Korean Peninsula increasingly worrisome.

"What about North Korea intimidating us?" A member of the South Korean delegation said Tillerson also reiterated Washington's promise to not seek regime change or conduct an invasion.

Moon, who was sworn in last week, warned that the North's nuclear and rocket programmes were "advancing rapidly", days after Pyongyang launched what appeared to be its longest-range missile yet.

North Korea's deputy United Nations envoy said on Friday "it is ridiculous" to link Pyongyang with the WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that started to sweep around the globe a week ago or the hacking of a UN expert monitoring sanctions violations.

The growing threats from the North prompted Seoul to recently deploy a powerful U.S. anti-missile system despite angry opposition by China that sees it as a threat to its own military capability.

South Korea and the United States agreed during a visit to Seoul by Trump's national security advisers this week to formulate a "bold and pragmatic" joint approach, Cho added.

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