North Korea’s foreign minister expressed “strong regret” on Sunday for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ condemnation of the country’s ICBM launch, North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency said in a statement.
North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday, in one of its most powerful tests to date, prompting Guterres to urge Pyongyang to halt any further “provocative actions”.
Foreign Minister Cui Shanhui responded, “I express my strong regret for the very regrettable attitude of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.”
Cui said the UN secretary-general’s statement “disregards the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and its proper mission of maintaining impartiality, objectivity and fairness in all affairs”.
She added that the episode showed that Guterres “is a puppet of the United States”.
In recent weeks, nuclear-armed North Korea has carried out a record number of lightning launches, and Pyongyang and Moscow have repeatedly accused Washington of stepping up efforts to protect allies Seoul and Tokyo.
The United States has stepped up regional security cooperation since Kim Jong-un declared in September that North Korea had become an “irreversible” nuclear power.
“We recently warned the UN secretary-general to consider the Korean Peninsula issue on a fair and objective basis,” Choi said.
She added that North Korea has made it clear that it must “defend itself in the face of a worrisome security environment on the Korean peninsula and the region as a result of dangerous military cooperation by the United States and its client forces”.
“Nonetheless,” Choi said, “the U.N. secretary-general put the blame for the case on North Korea, not the United States.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw Friday’s launch, which KCNA said was the Hwasong-17 – dubbed a “monster missile” by analysts.
South Korea’s military said the missile flew 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) at an altitude of 6,100 kilometers, just shy of Pyongyang’s March 24 ICBM launch in what appeared to be North Korea’s most powerful such test to date .
Later on Friday, Tokyo and Washington held joint military exercises in airspace over the Sea of Japan.
The UN Security Council said on Saturday it would discuss North Korea at a meeting on Monday.
(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)
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