World War 3: North Korea Threatens US Again
Several high-ranking officials including Kim Yong-nam, the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, and Vice-Marshal Hwang Pyong-so of the Korean People’s Army joined in the celebrations with thousands of soldiers and civilians at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang Thursday, dancing to a dazzling fireworks display while marking the launch of what North Korea say is its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It is now ready for World War 3.
“We enthusiastically celebrate the successful test launch of the intercontinental ballistic rocket, the greatest landmark in the history of our republic,” read a banner across the square, AFP reported.
If ”US imperialists commit even the slightest military provocation,” the North Korean army would “show to the world how the territory of the US will be reduced to ashes,” AFP reported the officials telling the assembled crowd.
People on the square then danced to patriotic songs, the first of which was “Glory to General Kim Jong-un”.
The Russian Ministry of Defense assessed it be an intermediate range missile (IRBM), saying it flew some 535km, reached an altitude of 510km, which fell into the Sea of Japan.
The missile test was carried out despite a ban by the UN Security Council and has increased anxieties among the international community.
North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006, when the Security Council demanded that it cease nuclear testing and banned the provision of large-scale arms, nuclear technology, and related training to Pyongyang. Despite intense political and economic pressure, North Korea defiantly continues to pursue its research and development in the nuclear sphere.
North Korea hinted Friday that it would continue to stage provocations against the United States, as Washington warns of punitive action for its recent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The North’s foreign ministry called Tuesday’s ICBM test as a “gift package” for the U.S., repeating its long-standing assertion that its nuclear development is designed to defend itself against Washington’s hostile policy and nuclear war threat.
“The U.S. will receive more ‘gift packages’ of different sizes from the DPRK in endless succession, as it tries harder to destroy, by means of sanctions and pressure, the overall national power and strategic position of the DPRK,” the unnamed ministry spokesman said in a statement released by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The DPRK is the acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The ministry also hinted that Pyongyang won’t discuss its denuclearization issue with Seoul after South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Berlin offered talks on a broad range of issues including its nuclear weapons and a peace treaty.
“The issue of the DPRK’s nukes and ballistic rocket is an issue confined to the DPRK and the U.S,” it said.
On Tuesday, the North claimed it had successfully test-fired an ICBM, which it said could strike anywhere in the world, including the continental U.S. Both Seoul and Washington confirmed it as an ICBM.
In the statement, the North’s ministry also said that it would not bargain away its nuclear and missile programs unless the U.S. renounces what it perceives as a hostile stance against it.
“The DPRK will neither put its nukes and ballistic missiles on the negotiating table in any case nor flinch even an inch from the road of bolstering its nuclear force unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the U.S. against the DPRK are thoroughly eradicated,” it said.
Touting the latest missile launch as the “final gate to completing the state nuclear force,” the ministry also claimed that no other ICBM states had been more “transparent” than the North in the ICBM development.
Meanwhile, the North’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee criticized the U.S. for “resorting to military gambling,” after Washington officials indicated they are not ruling out a military option to deal with evolving North Korean threats.
“It (Washington) should know that the DPRK has its own-style of powerful military option, the one for reducing the U.S. mainland to ashes, to cope with the U.S. military attack option for containing the DPRK by force,” the committee said in a statement carried by the KCNA.
Earlier this week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the U.S. will use military force against the North if necessary, warning Pyongyang’s provocative actions are “quickly closing off” chances of a diplomatic solution.