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U.S. may counter N. Korea’s ICBM threats with ICBMs

Posted December. 13, 2019 07:39,   

Updated December. 13, 2019 07:39


The U.S. made a firm warning against North Korea’s provocations at the United Nations Security Council meeting in New York on Wednesday (local time). Washington even mentioned the short-range ballistic missiles launched by the North, about which U.S. President Donald Trump has been silent, indicating a potential change in the country’s approach to the North Korea issues.

“North Korea launched over 20 ballistic missiles this year alone,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft at the Security Council meeting. “Ballistic missiles, regardless of their ranges, undermine regional security and stability, and are clearly in violation of the UN Security Council Resolutions.” The U.S. so far has been focusing its warning on long-range missiles and nuclear tests, which may have a direct impact on the country, without showing a strong response to North Korea’s short-range ballistic missiles since the U.S.-North Korea nuclear negotiations began. “These actions also risk closing the door on this opportunity to find a better way for the future,” Craft warned North Korea. She added that the U.S. is ready to be flexible if North Korea comes back to a negotiation table, urging the North to change its attitude.

Stephen Biegun, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea and nominee for deputy secretary of state, also delivered a message on Wednesday about the gravity of the current situation surrounding North Korea to the representatives of the Security Council members.

The U.S., which has been closely monitoring development in North Korea by sending its main reconnaissance planes to the Korean Peninsula on a daily basis, set a no-fly zone near the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Thursday. Some predict that Minuteman 3, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), may be launched in the near future in response to North Korea’s heavy provocations, indicating the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea may aggravate from a “word-to-word” contest to “long-range missiles vs. ICBMs.”

Yong Park parky@donga.com