World ponders how to respond to NKorean missile launch
NKorea threatens US, while South Korea warns reclusive neighbor for continued development of nuclear weapons
North Korea’s state media on Thursday celebrated the success of a mid-range ballistic missile test from the previous day, as the world ponders the best way to respond to Pyongyang’s latest break from United Nations resolutions.
South Korea and the United States revealed early Wednesday that the North had launched two suspected Musudan projectiles from its east coast – the second of which flew 400 kilometers (248 miles) and was seen as a relative achievement after five failed tests of the model since April.
“The test-fire was successfully conducted,” insisted North Korea’s KCNA news agency.
The report also emphasized that the security of surrounding countries was not compromised, in line with leader Kim Jong-un’s description of the North as a “responsible” nuclear weapons state.
“We have the sure capability to attack in an overall and practical way the Americans in the Pacific operation theater,” the KCNA warned.
The indigenous Musudan missile, which North Korea refers to as the Hwasong-10, could theoretically reach U.S. troops based as far as Guam.
Having been hit with strengthened U.N. sanctions for a fourth ever nuclear test in January and a subsequent rocket launch, Pyongyang could now face further punishment.
The U.N. Security Council said it will adopt a statement of condemnation following an emergency meeting in the wake of Wednesday’s tests, given that North Korea is barred from ballistic missile technology.
Seoul has already made its feelings clear, with local news agency Yonhap quoting two key government officials Thursday.
Defense Minister Han Min-goo cautioned Pyongyang that it faces “complete isolation,” while Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se threatened a crippling global response.
“As long as North Korea continues to defy the non-proliferation regime, we, the whole world, should remind North Korea that its misbehavior will have unbearable costs,” Yun said.