Amid the international uproar over North Korea’s latest and biggest nuclear weapons test, one of its top diplomats said on Tuesday it was ready to send “more gift packages” to the United States.
Addressing the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva Han Tae Song, ambassador of North Korea (DPRK) said that “the recent self-defence measures by my country, DPRK, are a ‘gift package’ addressed to none other than the U.S.”
“I am proud of saying that just two days ago on the 3rd of September, DPRK successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test for intercontinental ballistic rocket under its plan for building a strategic nuclear force,” Han told the Geneva forum.
“The U.S. will receive more ‘gift packages’ from my country as long as it relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK,” he added.
Military measures being taken by North Korea were “an exercise of restraint and justified self-defence right” to counter “the ever-growing and decade-long U.S. nuclear threat and hostile policy aimed at isolating my country”.
“Pressure or sanctions will never work in my country,” Han declared, adding: “The DPRK will never under any circumstances put its nuclear deterrence on the negotiating table.”
U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said that North Korea had defied the international community once again with its test.
“We look forward to working with our partners in the (Security) Council with regard to a new resolution that will put some of the strongest sanctions possible on the DPRK,” he told the conference.
“Advances in the regime’s nuclear and missile programme are a threat to us all … now is the time to say tests, threats and destabilising actions will no longer be tolerated,” Wood said.
“It can no longer be business as usual with this regime.”
Meanwhile German Chancellor Angela Merkel says ‘there can only be a peaceful and diplomatic solution’ for North Korea.
“North Korea’s nuclear tests are a flagrant violation of all international conditions,” Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.
“I say clearly and in the name of the whole government: there can only be a peaceful, diplomatic solution,” she added.
Angela Merkel also said on Tuesday that European Union foreign ministers would discuss taking further sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear missile programme at the weekend and that these were “required urgently”.
French defence minister says North Korean missiles could reach Europe sooner than expected
“The scenario of an escalation towards a major conflict can not be discarded,” France’s defence minister, Florence Parly said in a speech to the French military.
“Europe risks being within range of (North Korean President) Kim Jong Un’s missiles sooner than expected,” she said.
S.Korea’s Moon welcomes talks but not now
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday he is open to all forms of talks with North Korea, but now is not the time for dialogue, making the comments two days after the North conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test.
Moon was speaking in an interview with Russia’s TASS news agency in Russia a day ahead of his summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum which kicks off on Wednesday.