The North Korean regime launched four strategic cruise missilesreported this Friday the North Korean state agency KCNAadding that the tests were intended to “demonstrate” the “strength” of the hermetic Asian country.
It is the latest in a series of provocative missile launches by Pyongyang, raising fears of a possible nuclear test for the first time since 2017.
The four Hwasal-2 missiles were launched from the town of Kim Chaek (central-eastern part of the country) into the Sea of Japan (also know as East Sea), indicated the official agency KCNA.
These traveled 2,000 kilometers before impacting “accurately” on their target.
“The central military commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea expressed great satisfaction with the results of these launches,” the agency said.
According to KCNA, “The launches again demonstrated the military position of the North Korean nuclear warfare forces” “capable of responding to hostile forces.”
This Thursday the European Union (EU) “strongly” condemned the recent “illegal” and “reckless” launch by North Korea of an intercontinental ballistic missile and the subsequent firing of short-range ballistic missiles.
“These are dangerous and reckless actions that flagrantly violate UN Security Council resolutions,” said the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, in a statement on behalf of the Twenty-seven. Josep Borrell.
Borrell stressed that North Korea’s intention to continue developing the means to transport nuclear weapons anywhere in the world “threats all countries.”
In addition, he assured that the use of resources to support his illegal weapons program “aggravates the humanitarian situation of his population.”
North Korea launched on February 20, two days after firing an intercontinental missile, two short-range shells to the Sea of Japan in apparent response to the aerial maneuvers carried out by Seoul and Washington the day before.
These launches came a day after South Korea and the United States conducted aerial exercises involving two US B-1 strategic bombers.
This joint action took place in response to North Korea’s launch on Saturday of a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the second with the longest potential range in its arsenal, which traveled more than 900 kilometers before hitting waters of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Japan.
Borrell urged the international community to “respond in a united and firm way before North Korea’s actions further undermine the international non-proliferation architecture and escalate military tensions in the region.”
Insisted that Pyongyang “immediately” comply with UN Security Council resolutions and abandon all its existing nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missile programs, and nuclear programs, “in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner,” and cease all related activities.
“The EU urges all United Nations member states to join it in calling on North Korea to immediately cease all missile launches and resume dialogue with relevant parties,” it added.
To encourage the resumption of peaceful diplomacy, Borrell considered it “fundamental” that all United Nations member states demonstrate their commitment to the full application of the sanctions imposed by its Security Council.
“The EU will continue to work with its partners to restrict the flows of funding, knowledge and components that the DPRK could use to support its illegal weapons programme,” he said.
The head of community diplomacy stated that “the only viable path towards sustainable peace and security” on the Korean peninsula is for North Korea to “comply with its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.”
Thus, it considered that North Korea “cannot and will never have” the status of a State possessing nuclear weapons under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, nor any other special status in this regard, and urged the country to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Besides, Borrell expressed the “full solidarity” of the EU with Japan and South Koreaand made it clear that “it is ready to work with its partners in promoting a meaningful diplomatic process aimed at building sustainable peace and security through the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
(With information from AFP and EFE)
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