North condemns UNSC meetingNorth Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday slammed a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting scheduled to discuss the regime’s submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test last week, saying it was a “dangerous” attempt that would only fortify the North’s resolve to defend its sovereignty.
In a press conference at the North Korean mission in New York City, Kim Song, Pyongyang’s top envoy to the UN, told reporters that his country would not “sit idle” in terms of Britain’s, France’s and Germany’s request to convene a UNSC meeting over its “self-defense measures” with the weapons test.
Closed-door consultations on the North’s SLBM launch, which the three European countries labeled as violations of UN resolutions, are set to take place today, just days after Pyongyang’s working-level denuclearization talks with Washington in Sweden fell apart and exposed a wide split between the two sides.
The ostensible resentment that North Korea felt toward the United States’ unchanged position on the negotiations was made clear on Monday with remarks from its top nuclear envoy, Kim Myong-gil, who called the discussions “sickening” and antithetical to any potential for compromise.
Kim Song followed up on this show of antagonism toward Washington on Tuesday, accusing it of being the real driver behind the “impure motives of Britain, France and Germany.”
“The United States and its followers should bear in mind that if they raise the issue of our self-defensive measures at the UN Security Council, it will further boost our desire to defend our sovereignty,” Kim said. “So we really sharply watch every move of the United States and the United Nations Security Council.”
More ominously, Kim alluded to potential further provocations to come by asking the world to “please carefully watch what we do in the future.”
Considering that the nuclear negotiations fell apart in Stockholm Saturday, analysts have pointed out there is a very high likelihood that Pyongyang will undertake some sort of military provocation imminently, possibly with yet another SLBM test that could underscore the advances in its conventional weapons arsenal.
Yet the implications of the SLBM test, which Kim Song claimed had no impact on neighboring countries, goes far beyond that launch of a single projectile on Oct. 2. The rocket may have been launched from the regime’s new 3,000-ton Gorae-class submarine - though the South Korean military disputes this - which could possess the capacity to launch nuke-tipped missiles undetected while submerged.
State media in Pyongyang boasted the test showed the regime had successfully developed a ballistic missile called the Pukguksong-3, capable of “containing the outside forces’ threat” to the regime.
The test, the 11th weapons launch by the country this year, could be a violation of UN resolutions on the country. Resolution 2397, the most recent of these UNSC resolutions imposing economic sanctions on the North, calls for Pyongyang to “suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program and in this context re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on all missile launches.”
In contrast to its reaction to the 10 other tests, which produced little more than strongly worded condemnations, the UNSC’s consultations today could result in greater punishment for the country perhaps in the form of additional economic sanctions, though such a move could put Washington’s ongoing dialogue with Pyongyang at risk.
BY SHIM KYU-SEOK [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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