North Korea Accelerates Missile Programs
A North Korean envoy told Reuters that North Korea has accelerated their nuclear and missile programs, ever since the U.S. has moved to widen sanctions. This includes a “pre-emptive ballistic missile (ICBM),” said North Korean deputy ambassador Choe Myong Nam.
According to Reuters:
“The Trump administration is considering sweeping sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea off from the global financial system as part of a broad review of measures to counter Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile threat, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.
“The sanctions would be part of a multi-pronged approach of increased economic and diplomatic pressure – especially on Chinese banks and firms that do the most business with North Korea – plus beefed-up defenses by the United States and its South Korean and Japanese allies, according to the administration official familiar with the deliberations.”
North Korea’s Defensive Comments
Choe also announced:
“I think this is stemming from the visit by the Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson) to Japan, South Korea, and China…We, of course, are not afraid of any act like that. Even prohibition of the international transactions system, the global financial system, this kind of thing is part of their system that will not frighten us or make any difference.”
“Even prohibition of the international transactions system, the global financial system, this kind of thing is part of their system that will not frighten us or make any difference.”
North Korea has been under these sanctions for over fifty years, but the communist-run state also feels like they are self-sufficient. North Korea wants a forum to examine the “legality and legitimacy of the sanctions regime.”
America Asks For “Serious Talks”
In addition, North Korea has rejected the idea brought upon by Washington and Seoul that these military drills are defensive.
In response to Choe’s comments, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Anna Richey-Allen, called to North Korea to “refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric” while also making a strategic choice to continue their international obligations and “serious talks.”