North Korea flexes its muscles with threat to carry out ‘new form of nuclear test’

Country hits out at UN for condemning North Korea’s missile test on Wednesday

North Korea has threatened to conduct what it calls a “new form of nuclear test”, hitting out at the United Nations Security Council for its condemnation of the country’s recent ballistic missile launch.

The country’s foreign ministry issued a statement to the official KNCA news agency, that said: “It is absolutely intolerable that the U.N. Security Council, turning a blind eye to the U.S. madcap nuclear war exercises, ‘denounced’ the Korean People’s Army (KPA)’s self-defensive rocket launching drills and called them a ‘violation of resolutions’ and a ‘threat to international peace and security’ and is set to take an ‘appropriate step’,” Reuters has reported.

The ministry added that KPA drills to counter the U.S. will involve “more diversified nuclear deterrence,” which would be used for hitting medium- and long-range targets “with a variety of striking power.”

“We would not rule out a new form of nuclear test for bolstering up our nuclear deterrence,” it said, though it gave no more details on what the new form of testing could be.

North Korea test-fired two medium range Nodong missiles over the sea on Wednesday, marking the first launch of missiles of this kind by Pyongyang since 2009.

Ballistic missile launches by Pyongyang are banned by the U.N., and the Security Council on Thursday condemned the act, claiming it was considering an “appropriate response”.

The Council’s president and Luxembourg UN Ambassador, Sylvie Lucas, said the move was a violation of Security Council resolutions.

This is not the first time North Korea has defied U.N. resolutions; in February last year the country held its third nuclear test, leading the Security Council to expand the sanctions it already had in place.

Last week’s mid-range missile test, which fired weapons with a range wide enough to reach Japan, follows a series of short-range rocket launches by North Korea over the past two months.

The short-range missile launches are reported to have coincided with annual US-South Korea military exercises.

South Korea’s defence ministry called the latest missile activity a “grave provocation” while the US State Department called it a “troubling and provocative escalation”.

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