North Korea Nuclear, Missile Programs Meant to Hold US 'Hostage'
The likely intent of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests is to alter possible US military designs against Pyongyang, US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman said on Friday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – On Tuesday, the US Strategic Command confirmed two North Korean missile launches over the Sea of Japan. The most recent tests follow a series of missile launches by Pyongyang, as well as a March nuclear test.
"The purpose of their missile and nuclear development is to be able to directly hold the United States hostage and to prevent the United States from taking military action against North Korea without calculating the risk of a North Korean strike on the United States," Countryman said at the Institute for Korean-American Studies summer conference.
Countryman noted that the position is "not an official US viewpoint," but could explain the behavior of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
On Friday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said Pyongyang carried out the tests as a result of US military threats, sanctions as well as economic pressures.
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