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Iran Press TV

N Korea rejects UNSC rebuke of missile tests, blames US for peninsula tensions

Iran Press TV

Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:18PM

North Korea has strongly rejected a UN Security Council rebuke of Pyongyang's recent missile tests, saying the US is pushing the Korean Peninsula towards an "uncontrollable extreme phase."

In a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Saturday, the country's Foreign Ministry also referred to the world body's criticism as "a product of high-handedness wantonly violating the sovereignty of an independent state." It went on to say that the move by Security Council was "an unreasonable deed of turning black into white."

Pyongyang's response came two days after the 15-member council slammed the missile tests, saying they were in "grave violation" of the country's international obligations under five separate resolutions dating back to 2006, which ban all ballistic missile activity by North Korea.

"The members of the Security Council further regretted that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is diverting resources to the pursuit of ballistic missiles while Democratic People's Republic of Korea citizens have great unmet needs," said the council on Thursday.

The UNSC's closed-door meeting was held late on Wednesday night at the request of the United States and Japan after both countries expressed alarm following back-to-back missile tests by North Korea.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pyongyang test-fired two Musudan mid-range ballistic missiles, which are reported to have a theoretical range of between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometers, making them capable of reaching any part of South Korea, Japan and the US territory of Guam in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Hours after the launches, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the newly-tested missiles could hit the US military bases in the Pacific.

"We have the sure capability to attack in an overall and practical way the Americans in the Pacific operation theater," said Kim on Wednesday, after claiming that the testing of two Musudan missiles had been successful.

He further hailed the tests as a "great event" which significantly boosted the North's pre-emptive nuclear attack capabilities.

Earlier, US and South Korean military sources confirmed that the test launches had been carried out but cast doubt on their success.

According to South Korean and American officials, the test was Pyongyang's sixth launch of that weapon system.

The launches have been slammed by the international community, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon referring to them as a "brazen and irresponsible act."

Tensions have been flaring in the region since January, when North Korea said it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, its fourth nuclear test, and vowed to ratchet up its nuclear program as deterrence against potential aggression from the US and its regional allies.

Pyongyang has been under numerous UN sanctions over its nuclear tests and missile activities. It was recently placed under the toughest UN sanctions in two decades.

The country, however, has pledged not to relinquish its nuclear power unless the US ends its hostile policy and dissolves the US-led military command in South Korea.

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