Pyongyang has dubbed its recent missile test the “greatest success and victory” and threatened the US “with nuclear hammers of justice,” state media reports, adding that the North has all the resources necessary to battle US “nuclear hegemony.”
“A test-fire of strategic submarine-launched ballistic missile was successfully conducted under the guidance of” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the statement from KCNA news agency said.
Kim “appreciated the test-fire as the greatest success and victory…. The SLBM [Submarine-launched ballistic missile] test-fire was successfully carried out without any adverse impact on neighboring countries.”
The North Korean state news agency added that the leader was “watching the trajectory of the ballistic missile,” which was given the name Pukguksong.
“The US vicious nuclear threat and blackmail against the DPRK only resulted in bolstering up its nuclear attack capability hour by hour and the US mainland and the operational theatre in the Pacific are now within the striking range of the KPA, no matter how hard the US tries to deny it,” the agency quoted Kim as saying.
Once again, Pyongyang threatened its rivals, in particular the “US imperialists” and the “South Korean puppet group,” which are currently staging a joint military exercise “aiming at a preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK with huge nuclear strategic assets involved,” according to the article.
“The [North] Korean people would deal merciless blows at them with nuclear hammers of justice so that nails of injustice may not come out again, once an opportunity is given, now that the DPRK has in place all substantial means capable of standing up against the US nuclear hegemony,” KCNA reported.
A North Korean submarine test-launched a ballistic missile in the East China Sea on Wednesday as the US and South Korean militaries were conducting joint drills that Pyongyang has called a threat.
The missile traveled around 480 kilometers (300 miles), Reuters quoted a US defense official as saying. “This was likely a KN-11 ballistic missile,” an anonymous official stated, adding that the US had detected its launch from the submarine and tracked its trajectory.
Japan condemned the launch, saying the missile posed a “threat” to its security.
“This poses a grave threat to Japan’s security and is an unforgivable act that damages regional peace and stability markedly,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
The UN Security Council agreed on Wednesday that an emergency meeting should be called to consider a statement on North Korea’s missile activity. Malaysia’s UN ambassador, Ramlan Bin Ibrahim, the current council president, said after the meeting that “there was a general sense of condemnation by most members of the council.”
Earlier, North Korea had called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, citing an “unprecedentedly unstable” situation on the Korean Peninsula due to the recently announced deployment of THAAD missile systems in South Korea and the “introduction of nuclear strategic bombers” there.
The already tense atmosphere on the Korean peninsula has been aggravated by the US-South Korea military drills.
The Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military drills that kicked off on Monday are set to last 12 days. Around 50,000 Korean and 25,000 American soldiers will participate in the exercises, which reportedly involve training for an invasion. Both countries insist, however, that the drills are of a purely defensive nature.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been running high since the beginning of this year, as North Korea has been conducting nuclear and ballistic missile tests in violation of UN resolutions.
The situation has worsened since Washington’s recent decision to deploy sophisticated nuclear-capable bombers at its base on Guam in the Western Pacific and the announcement of the deployment of THAAD missile systems in South Korea.