N. Korea says missile test wasn’t aimed at US, conveys concern over US response

Posted on : 2021-10-22 17:45 KST Modified on : 2021-10-22 17:45 KST
Following the test of an SLBM by North Korea, the US convened a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council
The new submarine-launched ballistic missile tested by the North on Tuesday flies skyward from the water. (KCNA/Yonhap News)
The new submarine-launched ballistic missile tested by the North on Tuesday flies skyward from the water. (KCNA/Yonhap News)

North Korea expressed deep concern over the decision by the US to convene a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) in connection with the North’s test launch of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

“When doing the recent test-firing we did not have the US in mind nor aimed at it, but it is the work which had already been planned purely for the defence of the country,” a spokesperson for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said.

The spokesperson’s remarks were published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Thursday as responses to a reporter’s questions posed the day before.

“The test-firing of the new-type SLBM [. . .] was part of the normal activities for carrying out the medium- and long-term plan for the development of defence science and it did not pose any threat or damage to the security of the neighboring countries and the region,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

They went on to call the launch an “exercise of the right to self-defence proper and just to a sovereign state.”

“[T]he US described the DPRK’s exercise of its legitimate right to self-defence as a ‘violation of the resolution’ of the UNSC and a ‘threat’ to the regional peace and stability [. . .] and is taking very provocative moves such as calling for convening an emergency meeting of the UNSC,” they said, describing these as “abnormal reactions.”

The spokesperson also stressed that “the DPRK's deterrent does not aim at a specified state or forces but is for preventing the war itself and defending the sovereign rights. And the U.S. and south Korea have been ruled out as our arch-enemies.”

They went on to say that there was “no need for the US to worry or trouble itself over the test-firing.”

“If the US does not take issue with the DPRK's regular and legitimate exercise of the sovereign right, no tension will be caused on the Korean peninsula but if the US and its vassal forces persist with opting for a wrong action, it may act as a catalyst for more serious consequences,” they warned.

“To criticize the DPRK for developing and test-firing the same weapon system as the one the US possesses or is developing is a clear expression of double-standards,” they added.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s responses that day generally echoed the remarks made by leader Kim Jong-un on Oct. 11 in his commemorative speech for the “Self-Defence–2021” defense development exhibition.

At the time, Kim said, “Our arch-enemy is the war itself, not south Korea, the United States or any other specific state or forces.”

He also offered his assurance that “no tension will be caused on the Korean peninsula” provided that South Korea “does not pick a quarrel even with our exercise of national sovereignty.”

The US urged North Korea to refrain from additional provocations.

In remarks shared before the UNSC emergency meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield stressed that it was “time [for North Korea] to engage in sustained and substantive dialogue toward the goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, reiterated that the US had “stated our openness to having discussions with North Korea for months now.”

Following North Korea’s SLBM test launch on Tuesday, the UNSC convened a closed-door emergency meeting Wednesday. But the meeting concluded with no visible measures beyond a statement to North Korea expressing concern.

By Kim Ji-eun, staff reporter

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