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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

North Korea's latest missile test draws global condemnations

Iran Press TV

Fri Sep 15, 2017 01:52PM

China and Russia have condemned a new missile launch by North Korea as international pressure mounts on Pyongyang over its ongoing missile and nuclear tests.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific on Friday. The missile flew over Hokkaido in the north and landed in the Pacific about 2,000 kilometers to the east.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Beijing was opposed to ballistic missile launches by North Korea in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

"Currently the situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex, sensitive and serious. All parties concerned should exercise restraint and avoid any acts that may escalate tensions," the Chinese official said.

Hua, however, denied that China had any major role in easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and said that it lay upon the parties directly involved, namely the United States and North Korea, to resolve the conflict.

In addition to China, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday, "Russia is deeply concerned by the latest provocative launches which lead to a further escalation of tensions on the peninsula."

Peskov said President Vladimir Putin had discussed the missile launch with the Russian security council.

"Participants exchanged their views about the situation," he said. "We firmly condemn the continuation of such provocative actions."

Global condemnation

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in addition to state officials from the United States, Japan, South Korea, Germany, France and other countries, have all strongly condemned North Korea's latest missile test as a provocative move.

Guterres called on the North Korean leadership "to cease further testing, comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions, and allow space to explore the resumption of sincere dialog on denuclearization," read a statement by his spokesman.

Stoltenberg said in a message posted on Twitter, "North Korea's missile launch is another reckless breach of UN resolutions, a major threat to international peace and security which demands a global response."

In Germany, a government spokesman said Berlin "condemns the latest missile test from North Korea in the strongest terms."

The French Foreign Ministry also censured the test. "France is ready to work, notably within the UN Security Council and the European Union, on strengthening measures that will help to allow the Pyongyang regime realize it has no interest in escalating the situation, and to help bring it back to the negotiating table."

South Korea and Japan also denounced the missile test.

The UN Security Council is expected to convene at 3:00 pm EDT (1900 GMT), having only just unanimously adopted its ninth resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea on September 11 in response to the reclusive state's sixth ever nuclear test on September 3. Pyongyang condemned the latest UN resolution, threatening once more on Wednesday to completely destroy both the United States and Japan. Pyongyang threatened to sink Japan and reduce the United States to "ashes and darkness" for supporting the latest resolution and sanctions.

Defense program

The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

North Korea has often announced it needs its nuclear and missile development program, which are purely defensive, as a deterrent against expansionist policies of the US and its allies.

The United States holds regular joint war games with its regional allies, which Pyongyang describes as a practice for invasion.

North Korea accuses the United States, which has tens of thousands of troops based permanently in South Korea and Japan, of planning to invade the country.

Pyongyang, in response to US provocations, has tested dozens of missiles and six nuclear bombs as part of its weapons development program.

Two tests in July were for long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching at least parts of the US mainland.

Last month, North Korea fired an intermediate range missile from a similar area near the capital Pyongyang that also flew over Hokkaido into the ocean and said more would follow.

Washington has been pressing for international action against Pyongyang. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on all nations, Russia and China in particular, to take action against North Korea.

"China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own," Tillerson said.

China says the onus is upon the United States and North Korea, the main players in the conflict, to resolve the dispute through logical dialog.

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