North Korea threatens to resume nuke, long-range missile tests

Cheryl Sanders
October 11, 2019

The North on Thursday accused the Europeans of double standards.

North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Thursday warned that the country may reconsider recent measures taken to build trust with the United States, criticizing several European Union countries for their joint condemnation this week of its most recent missile test.

The comments come in response to a meeting of European Union member states at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday, after which diplomats from Germany, Britain, France, Poland, Estonia, and Belgium condemned the DPRK's test-launch last week of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

Some observers say North Korea's threat may be a tactic to pressure the USA into making concessions as a restart of nuclear and long-range missile tests would likely derail negotiations, deepen its global isolation and further dim prospects for rebuilding its moribund economy.

That statement - notably not signed by the US - urged North Korea to cease its "provocative actions" and stressed that worldwide sanctions against the country "must remain in place and be fully and strictly enforced". -North Korea diplomacy, following Saturday's failed working-level talks in Stockholm, Sweden.

In their statement at the UN Tuesday, the Europeans - France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Britain and Estonia - condemned Pyongyang's tests and urged it to engage in 'good faith in meaningful negotiations with the United States'.

North Korea issued a veiled warning on Thursday that it could eventually end a freeze in long-range missile testing as it criticised a call by U.N. Security Council members for it to give up its nuclear weapons and denounced a recent US missile test.

During Shoigu's expected visit, both sides will likely discuss interaction between their militaries as military assistance for North Korea is restricted by UN Security Council resolutions.

'The UNSC which champions fairness and equity picks fault with the just measure belonging to our right to self-defence, while keeping mum about the test-fire of Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile recently conducted by the US.

North Korea said it can make a response "on the same level" but is refraining from doing that because it's still unnecessary or premature to do so.

North Korea, as part of its efforts to sustain that dialogue, which has included three meetings between its leader, Kim Jong-un, and US President Donald Trump, has stopped testing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

US -led diplomacy aimed at stripping North Korea of its nuclear program had been stalemated since the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in February ended without any agreement. It says "our patience has a limit" and the condemnation is pushing the North to reconsider whether to maintain the disarmament steps it has taken to build confidence with the US. That summit fell apart because of Trump's rejection of Kim's demands for major sanctions relief in return for a limited denuclearization step.

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