North Korea fired another apparent ballistic missile on Friday, just hours after criticizing the United States’ push for new sanctions over its recent missile launches, and vowed a stronger and more explicit action if Washington maintains its “confrontational stance.”
In a statement carried by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the North’s recent launches of missiles were a righteous exercise of self-defense.
“Nevertheless, the US is intentionally escalating the situation even with the activation of independent sanctions, not content with referring the DPRK’s (North Korea) just activity to the UN Security Council,” the spokesperson said.
“If the US adopts such a confrontational stance, the DPRK will be forced to take stronger and certain reaction to it,” the spokesperson added.
The Biden administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five North Koreans living overseas for aiding the country’s weapons programs.
In recent months, North Korea has tested a range of increasingly powerful new weapons systems, including a long-range cruise missile believed to be capable of delivering a nuclear bomb to Japan, as well as a train-launched weapon and a new submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the North’s latest test “profoundly destabilizing.”
“I think some of this is North Korea trying to get attention. It’s done that in the past. It’ll probably continue to do that,” Blinken said.
“But we are very focused with allies and partners in making sure that they and we are properly defended and that there are repercussions, consequences for these actions by North Korea,” Blinken added.
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