“Japanese Prime Minister Abe, who is now making such a fuss over our super-large multiple rocket launcher test-fire as if a nuclear warhead had fallen on Japanese soil, is a moron,” the North Korea’s KCNA news agency said, citing a statement by Song Il Ho, its ambassador for ties with Japan.
“North Korea is investing all its strength in a hard-line position against Washington and Seoul,” said Nam, a former president of the Institute for National Security Strategy, a think tank affiliated with South Korea’s main spy agency. “If its missiles fly over Japan, the international impact would be huge because the United States and Japan would find it difficult to let it go,” he said.
Kim Jong-un took on the mantle of North Korea’s supreme leadership with little political or military experience behind him. Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s “Dear Leader”, was in the process of grooming him as his successor when he died in December 2011. Immediately after his father’s death, the younger Kim was hailed as “the great successor”. He was named head of the party, state and army within a fortnight of his father’s death.
Since then, he has shown he is committed to the advancement of North Korea’s weapons programme, ordering four nuclear tests and several missile tests.
“Missile operating bases are not launch facilities,” Bermudez wrote. “While missiles could be launched from within them in an emergency, Korean People’s Army (KPA) operational procedures call for missile launchers to disperse from the bases to pre-surveyed or semi-prepared launch sites for operations.”
Washington was playing a “double game”, said a lengthy commentary carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency, and was “little short of destroying” the rare diplomatic opportunity between the two.
“Hostile policy and reciprocity can not go together,” it said, and negotiations would not move forward “an inch with an obstacle called sanctions. The US… is responding to good faith with evil,” it added.
Ri Yong Ho told the world body’s annual General Assembly that North Korea had taken “significant goodwill measures” in the past year, such as stopping nuclear and missiles tests, dismantling the nuclear test site, and pledging not to proliferate nuclear weapons and nuclear technology.
“However, we do not see any corresponding response from the U.S.. Without any trust in the U.S. there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first.”
North and South Korea opened a joint liaison office in the Northern city of Kaesong on Friday as they knit closer ties ahead of President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Pyongyang next week.
“A new chapter in history is open here today,” South Korean unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a ceremony, calling the office “another symbol of peace jointly created by the South and the North”.