US demands direct negotiations with North Korea after Mars 12 missile test


North Korea confirmed that it had test-fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile on Sunday, as Washington urged Pyongyang to engage in a direct parley without preconditions, state media reported.

Pyongyang conducted its seventh missile test this month, the highest number in a month since 2019. South Korea and Japan claimed that the projectile had moved 1,242 miles upwards and landed in the sea about 500 miles away.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was launched from Pyongyang’s Chagan province at around 7:52 am local time and moved up to 16 times the speed of sound.

Ground-to-ground mid-range and long-range ballistic missiles on Mars 12 were launched to evaluate and verify the “overall accuracy of the weapons system”, State Media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Said.

The Korean Central News Agency claimed that the test was conducted with the “highest angle launch system” to ensure the safety of neighboring countries, and the test warhead was equipped with a camera for taking images of the earth from space. ..

The launch was seen as one step closer to lifting the voluntary moratorium on testing the longest-range intercontinental ballistic missiles that North Korea has not tested since 2017.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said North Korea’s recent missile test is “a challenge to the international community’s efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, stabilize peace, and find diplomatic solutions.”

A senior U.S. government official said he was concerned about the fact that North Korea could resume long-term trials that violate UN Security Council resolutions.

“It’s not just what they did yesterday, it’s the fact that this is coming shortly after quite a few tests this month, and it follows tests on various systems at the end of the year dating back to September,” officials said. He told reporters on Sunday.

Washington told North Korea that the test was “more and more unstable,” urging it to refrain from further tests and urging it to respond.

“You will see us taking several steps designed to show our commitment to our allies. At the same time, we repeat the diplomatic call. We are ready. We are serious about having discussions to address the concerns of both sides, “said officials.

North Korea said earlier this month that it would consider resuming all temporarily suspended actions as the United States has shown no signs of ending its “hostile policy.”

KCNA reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited an unspecified munitions factory that produces the country’s “major weapons system.”

North Korea had previously warned of a “stronger” response to US sanctions against six North Koreans involved in obtaining supplies for Pyongyang’s nuclear program from Russia and China.

The United States also urged the UN Security Council to continue sanctions. Representatives from China and Russia blocked the proposal and argued that additional time and evidence would be needed to support it.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Aldograph Redley

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Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer featuring the Epoch Times Asia Pacific News.