North Korea on Sunday warned that it would take action if the US continued to adhere to its present military policy and of imposing tough sanctions in response to Pyongyang’s second launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The North Korean Foreign Ministry issued a statement through its state-run news agency KCNA, in which it defended Friday’s launch as a demonstration of the country’s military capabilities.
The test was “meant to send a stern warning to the US making senseless remarks”, and imposing “frantic sanctions and a pressure campaign against the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)”, the statement read. “The US trumpeting about war and threat to impose extreme sanctions on the DPRK only emboldens the latter and provides further justification for its access to nukes,” it added. Earlier on Sunday, the US deployed B-1B strategic bombers near the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s ICBM launch on Friday.
Washington also deployed the bombers on June 20, following the announcement of the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who passed away after being returned to the US in a comatose state by North Korea, which had held him for 17 months. It said that it will ask the UN Security Council to impose tougher sanctions against North Korea and work on unilateral sanctions in response to the missile test.
The Hwasong-14 missile fired by Pyongyang flew 998 km for about 47 minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 3,724.9 km before falling into the Sea of Japan. North Korea called the launch a success and said that it proved Pyongyang could strike any part of the US with the missile. North Korea’s continued missile tests have escalated tensions on the Korean peninsula and have led to tough rhetoric by the US, which has also hinted at the possibility of preemptive strikes against the country.