Published: Fri, October 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Korea poses one of the biggest ballistic missile threats to US

Korea poses one of the biggest ballistic missile threats to US

North Korea is calling an outside condemnation of its weapons launches a "grave provocation" and threatening to resume nuclear and long-range missile tests.

It referred to a USA test this month of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, which it called an effort to exert pressure on North Korea.

The warning by Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry followed the weekend breakdown of North Korea-U.S. nuclear negotiations in Sweden, the first such talks between the countries in more than seven months.

"But there is a limit to the patience of the DPRK and there is no guarantee that all our patience would continue indefinitely", the North Korean spokesperson added in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

A spokesperson for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the UN Security Council found fault with Pyongyang, but didn't say anything about a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by Washington.

Since early May, North Korea has conducted 11 rounds of missile tests, most of which involved ballistic missile technology that North Korea is banned from possessing.

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But Trump's attitude toward the process is subject to sudden change, given the churning pressures competing for his attention. The United States and China have resumed ministerial-level trade talks for the first time in about two months.

After North Korea walked away last week, the U.S. State Department characterized the discussions as "good" and said U.S. negotiators accepted a Swedish invitation to return to the talks in two weeks.

The statement did not elaborate, but North Korean officials have previously referred to the freezing of nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, and the return of remains of USA soldiers killed in the 1950-1953 Korean War, as good-faith gestures to the United States that have not been reciprocated.

Council members Belgium and Poland joined in supporting the statement along with Estonia, which will join the council in January.

The spokesman denounced the UN Security Council's "unfair" taking up of the issue of North Korea's self-defense. "The fact... is prompting us to reconsider the crucial pre-emptive steps we have taken to build trust with the United States", he said. A U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command statement said that such tests demonstrate the capability of the intercontinental ballistic missile system and are not a response to world events or regional tensions. -North Korea diplomacy, following Saturday's failed working-level talks in Stockholm, Sweden.

In response, Pyongyang warned, the country may "reconsider the crucial steps we have taken to build trust with the U.S." - likely a reference to last year's self-declared moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear testing.

"North Korea is in the process of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capability that could strike the United States homeland with a nuclear warhead", the report said, adding that it is yet unclear "whether any of their ballistic missiles are armed with a nuclear warhead". They said the launch clearly violated United Nations resolutions.

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