There are fears that Kim Jong-un is intensifying his bid for a ‘third world war’ After the Tin-Pot dictator fired a short-range ‘ballistic’ missile early this morning.
It comes after North Korea’s ambassador warned the United Nations that no one would deny Pyongyang’s right to test weapons.
And it could crush hopes of moving forward with South Korea – just days after Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo-jong, expressed her desire to engage in talks.
US military chiefs say they are aware of the missile launch, but said it poses no immediate threat to US personnel or its allies.
However, the US Indo-Pacific Command said the launch “highlights the destabilizing effect” of [North Korea’s] illegal weapons program”.
And the Japanese Defense Ministry reportedly claimed the projectile could be a ballistic missile, which has been banned under UN sanctions.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has ordered an immediate investigation into the launch by Seoul’s National Security Council.
A few days ago, Ms Kim said North Korea was ready to formally end the Korean War. However, she warned that the South needed to stop its “hostile policies” first.
Shortly after the latest launch, North Korea’s envoy Kim Song spoke at the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York.
He said the North had the right to develop, test, manufacture and possess weapons systems – and the country is “building up our national defense to defend itself”.
Less than a fortnight ago, new satellite images were released showing the rogue state supplying uranium to a new construction site at the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center.
Professor Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies suggested that a new expansion of the facility could increase production of weapons-grade materials by up to 25 percent.
Meanwhile, the country fired a cruise missile, which may have a nuclear capability, earlier this month.
fear of war
The range of the projectile is so lethal that it may be able to reach Japan.
The move prompted the US to warn the country of a “danger”.
North Korea is facing a food shortage, and has spent more than a year in isolation.
It closed its borders to keep Covid out, effectively cutting off trade with its closest ally, China.
Despite the country’s hunger, the weapons program continues at a rapid pace.
In August, the United Nations nuclear agency said that North Korea had restarted a reactor that could produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, calling it a “deeply disturbing” development.
‘We are on the verge’
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Biden administration was committed to a dialogue with the country.
However, the US has so far faced taunts and threats from Jong-un, who says it is still preparing for a military “confrontation”.
And UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this week that humanity is on the verge of “nuclear destruction”.
He warned that the threat is the highest in 40 years as the world is “unacceptably close” to large-scale nuclear destruction in a nuclear arms race.
The official has previously expressed concern that China, North Korea and the US have not yet backed a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty among other countries.
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