North Korea accuses Biden admin of 'provocation' after missile test

WION Web Team
Pyongyang, North Korea Published: Mar 27, 2021, 07:22 AM(IST)

Kim Jong-un (file photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

North Korea on Friday said it had launched a new type of tactical short-range ballistic missile. Biden, in response, said the test violated UN Security Council resolutions.

North Korea on Saturday said the administration of US President Joe Biden had taken a wrong first step and revealed "deep-seated hostility" by criticising its self-defensive missile test.

North Korea on Friday said it had launched a new type of tactical short-range ballistic missile. Biden, in response, said the test violated UN Security Council resolutions.

The US president, however, added he remained open to diplomacy with Pyongyang.

The nuclear-armed North has a long history of using weapons tests to ramp up tensions, in a carefully calibrated process to try to forward its objectives.

Pyongyang had been biding its time since the new administration took office in Washington, not even officially acknowledging its existence until last week.

Ri Pyong Chol, secretary of the North's ruling Worker's Party's Central Committee, Biden's remarks were an "undisguised encroachment on our state's right to self-defence and provocation," and that the test was self-defensive against threats posed by South Korea and the United States with their joint military exercises and advanced weapons.

He added Washington might face "something that is not good" if it continues to make "thoughtless remarks."

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"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 U.N. 'resolutions' and openly revealing his deep-seated hostility," Ri said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

"I think that the new US administration obviously took its first step wrong."

He further accused the Biden administration of "exploiting every opportunity" to provoke Pyongyang by branding it as a "security threat."

The test came just days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to work to denuclearise North Korea and criticised its "systemic and widespread" human rights abuses during a visit to Seoul with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

North Korea has also slammed the South Korea-US military exercises which ended last week, even though they were repeatedly scaled back to facilitate a restart of denuclearization talks with Pyongyang.

Ri said Washington insisted on a "gangster-like logic" to be able to bring strategic nuclear assets to South Korea and test intercontinental ballistic missiles at its convenience, but ban North Korea from testing even a tactical weapon.

Experts, to this end, said Ri's remarks meant North Korea would potentially ramp up military tension in the coming months by developing and testing advanced weapons.

Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies said in a report on Friday that commercial satellite imagery showed North Korea has continued to produce uranium concentrate, used to build nuclear weapons, over the past eight months, though it has not tested any bombs since 2017.

Thursday's launch, and an earlier test of short-range, non-ballistic missiles at the weekend, came after joint exercises by the US and South Korean militaries and a visit to the region by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

(with inputs from agencies)

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