Japan to extend unilateral sanctions against North Korea

Justin Greene
April 11, 2017

The statement denounced the North's missile launch, which took place on Tuesday Korean time, as a grave violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban Pyongyang from any ballistic missile activity because the technology could be used in making nuclear missiles.

Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on Wednesday, the latest in a string of recent missile tests just ahead of President Donald Trump's summit with China's Xi Jinping, at which North Korea was set to dominate the agenda.

An EU statement said the new sanctions were imposed because North Korea had violated multiple United Nations resolutions and constituted "a grave threat to worldwide peace and security".

North Korea launched a projectile on Wednesday, which US officials said appeared to be a liquid-fuelled, extended-range Scud missile that only travelled a fraction of its range before spinning out of control and crashing into the sea. North Korea denied any involvement in that attack.

The council the failed test followed a missile launch on March 21 and two additional rounds of launches and an engine test in February and March.

North Korean state media said the "Pukguksong-2" missile is a surface-to-surface missile that can carry nuclear warheads.

North Korea is ready to deliver the "most ruthless blow" if provoked by the United States, its ambassador to Moscow has warned.

North Korea now has the strength to "wipe out" the United States "in a moment" with an H-bomb, the editorial said.

Cheong Seong-chang, a senior research fellow at Sejong Institute outside Seoul, said that could come in the form of another nuclear or ICBM test after the summit.

"I'm confident, should he do that", she said, referring to the North's leader Kim Jong-un. North Korea sees the drills as an invasion rehearsal.

North Korea has been pursuing its nuclear and missile programs at an unprecedented pace since past year, with an aim to expand its deterrence against Washington and diversify its line-up of nuclear-equipped missiles, another expert said.

Analysts says North might time nuclear and long-range rocket tests to the April 15 birthday of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the late grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.

Such rockets are harder for existing US and South Korean technology to detect, Gen Robinson warned.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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