The UN Security Council held an emergency session last night amid rising tensions over North Korea’s test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The US, Japan and South Korea requested the session in light of Pyongyang’s breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions on Monday.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the response from Washington would include “stronger measures to hold the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) accountable”.
In a show of force, US and South Korean troops fired “deep strike” precision missiles off South Korea’s east coast yesterday.
South Korea’s military later released previously shot video showing the test-firing of sophisticated South Korean missiles and a computer-generated image depicting a North Korean flag in flames with the backdrop of a major building in Pyongyang.
But North Korean leader Kim Jong Un remained defiant, vowing his nation will “demonstrate its mettle to the US” and never put its weapons programme up for negotiations.
The hard line suggests that North Korea will conduct more weapons tests until it perfects nuclear-armed missiles capable of striking anywhere in the US.
North Korean state media described leader Kim as “feasting his eyes” on the intercontintental ballistic missile, which was said to be capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead, before its launch.
“With a broad smile on his face,” Kim urged his scientists to “frequently send big and small ‘gift packages’ to the Yankees,” it said, an apparent reference to continuing the stream of nuclear and missile tests Kim has ordered since taking power in late 2011.
North Korea was also pleased that its test came as Americans celebrated Independence Day. State media said Kim told “scientists and technicians that the US would be displeased to witness the DPRK’s strategic option” on its Independence Day.
Kim also said North Korea “would neither put its nukes and ballistic rockets on the table of negotiations in any case nor flinch even an inch from the road of bolstering the nuclear force chosen by itself unless the US hostile policy and nuclear threat to the DPRK are definitely terminated,” the Korean Central News Agency reported.
Meanwhile, the North Korean ambassador in London was summoned to the Foreign Office for a dressing-down.
Following his meeting with ambassador Choe Il at the Foreign Office in London, foreign minister Mark Field said: “I call on the North Korean regime to change course and focus on the welfare of its people, instead of the illegal pursuit of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.”