0929 GMT December 15, 2017
The Pentagon issued a toughly worded statement on Sunday, asking “all states” to react and show the North that its actions would have “consequences.”
The warning came only hours after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced the regime’s plans to test the new ICBM.
“We are in the final stages of test-launching the intercontinental ballistic missile,” he was quoted as saying by AFP, describing his country as a “military power of the East that cannot be touched by even the strongest enemy.”
In its response, the Pentagon advised Pyongyang to “refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric that threaten international peace and stability.”
It also highlighted that “multiple UN Security Council resolutions explicitly prohibit North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology.”
Pyongyang has defied the pressures to stop its nuclear and missile programs by insisting on its right to develop the technologies for “self-defense.”
Pyongyang will continue to boost its military capacity, Kim said, until Washington puts an end to its regular military exercises in the region with rival South Korea.
The Pentagon, however, reaffirmed America’s “ironclad commitment” to its allies in the region, noting that Washington would resort to “the full spectrum of US extended deterrence capabilities” to keep that promise.
The US has long been deploying advanced weaponry to South Korea under the pretext of defending the country against the North’s aggression.
Although experts are divided over the success rate of North Korea’s ICBM tests so far, they all agree that the secretive country has made enormous strides in achieving the know-how.
Pyongyang has also prompted alarms in Washington by carrying out a series of successful nuclear tests. It has also reported major breakthroughs in developing new types of nuclear warheads.