North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui blasted U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over the weekend for being “a puppet of the United States.”
This followed Guterres’ statement condemning the rogue state’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test on Friday. The U.N chief called for North Korea to “immediately desist” from further “provocative” launches that could undermine stability in the region.
Choe said that she mistakes Guterres as belonging to the Biden administration or State Department. She called his words towards North Korea “deplorable” and counter to the “purpose and principles of the U.N. charter.”
The launch caused global alarm over the apparent capabilities of the ICBM tested by the Kim Jong Un government. Experts believe it demonstrated capability to target the U.S. mainland — and perhaps anywhere across the continent.
The U.S. responded to the launch Saturday by sending two supersonic bombers to fly along with South Korean and Japanese warplanes.
North Korea has fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed near Japan’s territorial waters. Japan says the weapon was fired at a high angle and may have the range to strike the entire U.S. mainland. https://t.co/ETe0KnRVX1
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 18, 2022
Earlier in November, the U.S. deployed B-1B supersonic bombers over South Korea as the military carried out joint drills. This came in response to the North’s aggression in the area and was the first of its kind in five years.
Exactly what the U.N. is capable of doing to further punish North Korea is unclear, despite a called emergency meeting to address the issue. Two of the Security Council members, Russia and China, hold veto power and have previously opposed U.S.-led increases in international sanctions.
Group of Seven (G7) nations on Sunday, which include the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the U.K., issued a joint statement Sunday opposing the provocation.
The G7 called on the Security Council to take a stand against North Korean aggression with a “united and robust response.” But on Monday, Choe issued another statement in defense of her country’s actions.
She said it is North Korea’s right to conduct “legitimate” test launches and merely an exercise in “self-defense.”
Military experts believe the Hwasong-17 missile that was launched Friday is still in development, though Kim called it a “reliable and maximum-capacity weapon.” The tests are seen as further actions by the North Korean leader to gain leverage and boost his nuclear capabilities.