Boris Johnson tells North Korea it must stick to United Nations resolutions

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 16, 2017

Mike Pence, the U.S. vice-president, is due to arrive in South Korea on Sunday carrying a range of military options for tackling North Korea's increasing belligerence.

The Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles were also on parade. In a test launch in August a year ago, the missile flew 500 kilometres from a submarine and crashed into waters near Japan, prompting Mr Kim to declare that North Korea had gained "perfect nuclear-attack capability".

The attempted missile launch comes a day after North Korea paraded intercontinental ballistic missiles in front of the world and its adversaries, including the USA, heightened their defenses against a strike.

"We have been here before but continue to monitor the situation carefully", Johnson said in a statement.

The move, coupled with the USA retaliatory strikes against Syria over a chemical weapons attack on civilians, touched off fear in South Korea that the United States was preparing for military action on the North.

The White House has said U.S. President Donald Trump has put the North "on notice" while the possibility of U.S. military action against Pyongyang has gained traction following U.S. strikes against Syria on April 7. "During the last few days, people were mobilised to Kim Il-Sung Square to rehearse for the big day".

North Korea again showed KN-08 ICBMs, which were never launched but unveiled at a similar parade to mark the centenary of the founder's birth. Military analysts say the missiles could one day be capable of hitting targets as far as the continental United States, although the North has yet to flight test them.

The parade also included large rockets covered by canisters in two different types of transporter erector launcher trucks, or TELs. An official from South Korea's Defence Ministry couldn't immediately confirm whether the rocket was a new ICBM. These missiles worry South Korea because they are harder to detect before launch than liquid-fuel missiles, which require fuel trucks and other vehicles that could be spotted by satellites.

Instead a very close aide to the 30-something-year-old leader, who took the reins of power five years ago, spoke, lauding the country's recent achievements in its arms development program.

In his New Year's address, Kim said North Korea had entered the final stage of preparing to test-launch an ICBM, which would lead to a game-changing security environment as it could potentially deliver a nuclear warhead to the US mainland. The South Korean government had said earlier this year that Kim Won-hong was sacked from his job as state security minister. Speculation has grown that it is to conduct a sixth nuclear test to coincide with the anniversary.

It has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them a year ago - and multiple missile launches, one of which saw several rockets land in waters close to Japan last month.

North Korea conducted two such tests past year alone, which analysts say would have taken the country a step forward in gaining the knowledge to make nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles.

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