North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un promised more missile flights to Japan, insisting that the provocative launch of his nuclear country is a mere “curtain raider”, in the face of United Nations condemnation and American warnings of serious repercussions.
The long-term Hwasong-12 missile that Pyongyang untied on Tuesday represented a major escalation in the face of tensions over its weapons programs.
In recent weeks, he threatened to send a salvo of missiles to the US territory of Guam, while President Donald Trump warned of raining “fire and fury” in the north.
After the latest release, Trump said that “all options” were on the table, reviving his implied threat of US military action a few days after congratulating himself when Kim seemed to “start respecting us.”
The UN Security Council, which has already imposed seven series of sanctions on Pyongyang, said in a unanimous statement that the actions of the North “are not only a threat to the region, but to all member states of the region.” UN “.
The main ally of the North, China and Russia, which also has ties to him, supported the United States statement, but this will not immediately lead to new or reinforced measures against Pyongyang.
Rodong Sinmun, a spokesman for the ruling North Party, carried more than 20 photos of the launch near Pyongyang Wednesday, one showing Kim smiling broadly in an office with a map of the Pacific Northwest surrounded by aid.
Another showed him looking up as the missile rose into the air. The South Korean military said on Tuesday it had traveled some 2,700 kilometers (1,700 miles) and reached a maximum altitude of 550 kilometers.
The official Korean news agency quoted Kim as saying “more rocket launches are needed with the Pacific as a target in the future.”
Tuesday’s launch was “an important prelude to Guam’s ability, an advanced invasion base,” he said, and a “curtain move” for the “countermeasures” of the North against the ongoing military and South American exercises, which the North considers an invasion test.
Wednesday’s statement was the first time the North has admitted sending a missile to the main islands of Japan. Two of his rockets had previously, in 1998 and 2009, but in both cases, he claimed to be space launchers.
Tuesday’s missile stolen caused consternation in the world capitals and on the ground, with sirens and text messages sent to Japan to warn people to cover themselves.
“Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the isolation of the North Korean regime in the region and among all nations of the world,” Trump said in a White House statement. “All the options are on the table.”
During the emergency intervention of the UN Security Council, Washington ambassador Nikki Haley warned that “enough” and that it was necessary to take tough measures.
“This is unacceptable,” Haley said. “They have violated any UN Security Council resolution that we have, and I think something serious should happen.”
Last month, the North made its first two successful tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile, apparently taking much of the American continent into the range, but the Pentagon said Tuesday’s launch was deemed not to pose a threat.
Any northbound missile in Guam is expected to pass through Japan, and analysts told AFP that Pyongyang had chosen the path of the “half way” option to send a message without crossing a red line.
However, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was visibly unstable, doubling the launch of a “grave, grave and unprecedented threat.”
Despite Trump’s rhetoric, Washington officials echoed warnings from former Trump strategy chief Steve Bannon that it is too late for a pre-emptive strike against the North.
“There is no military solution, forget it,” Bannon told American Prospect in an August 16 interview, his last before losing his job.