Tuesday Sep 28 2021

Tensions expected to rise again as N Korea fires missile off east coast

North Korea fires missile off its east coast. Photo: Reuters
North Korea fires missile off its east coast. Photo: Reuters  

  • North Korea urges US, South Korea to scrap "hostile" foreign policy. 
  • Japan says North Korea appears to have filed a ballistic missile. 
  • No one could deny country's right to self defence and to test weapons, says North Korea's ambassador to the UN. 

Tensions are once again expected to rise between the North Korea and the US as the former fired a missile Tuesday off its east coast, urging Washington and South Korea to scrap their "hostile" foreign policy. 

The missile was launched from the central north province of Jagang at around 6:40 a.m. (2140 GMT), the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Japan's defence ministry said it appeared to be a ballistic missile, without elaborating.

The latest test underscored the steady development of North Korea's weapons systems, raising the stakes for stalled talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals in return for US sanctions relief.

The launch came just before North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations urged the United States to give up its hostile policy towards Pyongyang and said no one could deny his country's right to self defence and to test weapons.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in ordered aides to conduct a detailed analysis of the North's recent moves and devise a response.

"We regret that the missile was fired at a time when it was very important to stabilise the situation of the Korean peninsula," defence ministry spokesman Boo Seung-chan told a briefing.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said the launch posed no immediate threat to the United States or its allies but highlighted "the destabilising impact" of the North's illicit weapons programmes.

North Korea has accused Seoul and Washington of "double standards," saying they denounced its weapons development while continuing their own military activities.