UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council echoed international condemnation Sunday of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test by North Korea, while US President Barack Obama dismissed Pyongyang’s offer of a nuclear moratorium, reports AFP.
Saturday’s test, personally monitored by supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, was the latest in a series of provocative moves by Pyongyang that have further fuelled tensions on the divided Korean peninsula following the North’s fourth nuclear test back in January. There are growing concerns that Pyongyang is building up to a fifth nuclear test ahead of a key political gathering early next month.
The Security Council said the SLBM launch marked a “serious” violation of UN resolutions aimed at curbing the North’s nuclear drive, and urged Pyongyang to refrain from any further provocations.
A proven SLBM capability would take North Korea’s nuclear strike threat to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and the potential to retaliate in the event of a nuclear attack. Kim Jong-Un hailed the test as an “eye-opening success” that underlined the country’s ability to strike South Korean or US targets “anytime”.
South Korea’s defense ministry said the missile, fired from a submarine in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), flew around 19 miles (30 kilometers) and demonstrated clear technological progress from previous tests.