North Korea on Sunday slammed the UN Security Council for holding an emergency meeting over the country’s latest missile tests, accusing the member states of toying with a “time-bomb”.
Pyongyang said Friday it had successfully fired an anti-aircraft missile, the latest in a series of tension-raising steps by the nuclear-armed state, which had until recently been biding its time since the change in US administrations in January.
In September, it launched what it said was a long-range cruise missile, and earlier this week tested what it described as a hypersonic gliding vehicle, which South Korea’s military said appeared to be in the early stages of development.
The tests prompted UN Security Council member states to convene an emergency meeting on North Korea on Friday, called by the United States, Britain and France.
The meeting was originally due to take place on Thursday but was delayed. It lasted just over an hour and ended without a statement.
But it nonetheless angered Pyongyang, which called it a “wanton encroachment” on its sovereignty and a “serious intolerable provocation”.
“Demanding that we renounce our right to self-defence means an expression of its intention not to acknowledge the DPRK as a sovereign state,” said Jo Chol Su, director of the Department of International Organisations at the foreign ministry, using the abbreviation for the country’s official name.
“I express strong concerns over the fact that the UNSC amused itself with the dangerous ‘time-bomb’ this time,” he added in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
North Korea has a long history of using weapons tests as part of a carefully calibrated process to try to forward its objectives.
On Wednesday, the country’s leader Kim Jong Un decried Washington’s repeated offers of talks without preconditions as a “petty trick”, accusing the Biden administration of continuing the “hostile policy” of its predecessors.
Under President Joe Biden, the United States has repeatedly declared its willingness to meet North Korean representatives, while saying it will seek denuclearisation.