On Wednesday, North Korea refused the UN chief’s criticism of its most recent ballistic missile launches, claiming that it was “unfair and unbalanced” and disregarded Pyongyang’s right to self-defense.
In the previous five days, the nuclear-armed North launched three prohibited missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile test that Pyongyang claimed demonstrated its ability to launch a “fatal nuclear counterattack on the hostile forces.”
In response to Saturday’s ICBM launch, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement urging Pyongyang to “immediately cease from conducting any further provocative actions.”
North Korea’s vice foreign minister expressed “strong discontent and protest against the extremely unfair and imbalanced attitude” of Guterres, according to a statement carried by KCNA state media.
Kim Son Gyong said Guterres’ assessment ignored “dangerous” joint military drills by Washington and Seoul and that he should “adopt a fair and balanced attitude”.
As a “countermeasure” to the recent US stationing of strategic bombers on the Korean peninsula, Kim excused North Korea’s missile launches.
Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, previously declared that Pyongyang was carefully watching Seoul and Washington’s plans to send more US strategic assets to the area.
“The frequency of using the Pacific as our firing range depends upon the US forces’ action character,” she said in a statement on KCNA on Monday.
One of their worst periods in decades has occurred in the relationship between the two Koreas. Kim Jong Un called for a “exponential” increase in the production of weapons, including tactical nuclear weapons, last year when North Korea proclaimed itself a “irreversible” nuclear power.