The United States called Friday for tougher UN sanctions after North Korea said it test-fired its biggest intercontinental ballistic missile to date, with Kim Jong Un vowing to expand his country’s “nuclear war deterrent” while preparing for a “long-standing confrontation” with the United States, APA reports quoting Associated Press .
North Korean state media reported the North’s first long-range test since 2017, and South Korea and Japan said they detected it. Thursday’s launch extended a barrage of weapons demonstrations this year that analysts say are aimed at forcing the United States to accept the idea of North Korea as a nuclear power and remove crippling sanctions against its broken economy.
At a UN Security Council meeting Friday, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. would propose a resolution “to update and strengthen” Security Council sanctions. She declined to specify what those new measures might be.
“It is clear that remaining silent, in the hope that the DPRK would similarly show restraint, is a failed strategy,” she said. DPRK is acronym for the country’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.
The council originally imposed sanctions after the North’s first nuclear test explosion in 2006 and tightened them over the years. But last fall, veto-wielding China and Russia called for lifting various sanctions against their neighbour.
Russian Deputy Ambassador Anna Evstigneeva said Friday that further sanctions would only harm North Korea’s people, while Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun urged the council “to consider how to accommodate the DPRK’s justified security concerns.”
He suggested that the U.S. didn’t do enough to respond to the North’s 2018 self-imposed pause on long-range missile and nuclear tests and needed to “show its goodwill” and “work harder to stabilize the situation” and resume dialogue.
North Korea didn’t speak at the council meeting. A message seeking comment was sent to its UN mission.
Meanwhile, the U.S. imposed new sanctions of its own against five entities and individuals in Russia and North Korea over transferring sensitive items to the North’s missile program, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
North Korean state TV dramatized the missile testing process like a Hollywood movie, showing Kim walking in slow motion in front of a giant missile in sunglasses and a black leather motorcycle jacket. After a series of quick cuts of Kim and military officials staring at their watches, Kim takes off his shades and nods, and the missile is shown being rolled out of the hangar.