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‘Strong regret’ over UN chief’s remarks on missile testing, says North Korea

Nuclear-armed North Korea has had a record launch campaign over the past week


North Korea’s foreign minister on Sunday expressed “strong regret” over UN chief Antonio Guterres’ condemnation of the country’s launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to a statement from the official KCNA newspaper.

The North fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday in one of its most powerful tests yet, prompting António Guterres to urge Pyongyang to halt any further “provocative action”.

Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui responded by expressing “my deep regret that the UN Secretary General has adopted a very deplorable attitude.”

The UN chief’s statement, Choe said, “was oblivious to the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and its own mission, which is to maintain impartiality, objectivity and fairness in all areas”.

She added that the episode shows that Guterres “is a puppet of the United States.”

Nuclear-armed North Korea has had a record launch campaign in recent weeks, which Pyongyang – and Moscow – have repeatedly blamed on moves by Washington to bolster the protection it offers its allies Seoul and Tokyo.

Since Kim declared North Korea an “irreversible” nuclear state in September, the United States has intensified its regional security cooperation.

“We recently warned the UN secretary-general to consider the Korean Peninsula issue on the basis of impartiality and objectivity,” Choe said.

She added that the North had made it clear that it should be “self-defense in the worrying security environment on the Korean peninsula and the region caused by the dangerous military cooperation of the United States and its vassal forces. “.

“Nevertheless,” Choe said, “the UN secretary-general blamed the case on the DPRK rather than the United States.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw Friday’s launch, which KCNA said was the Hwasong-17, dubbed the “monster missile” by analysts.

The missile traveled 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) at an altitude of 6,100 km, according to the South Korean military, barely less than the ICBM Pyongyang fired on March 24, which appeared to be the most test of its type. powerful of the North to this day.

Later Friday, Tokyo and Washington held joint military exercises in airspace above the Sea of ​​Japan.

The UN Security Council said on Saturday it would discuss North Korea at a meeting on Monday.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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