SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea hit back on Sunday (Aug 28) at a United Nations Security Council statement condemning its latest test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, and threatened to take further steps as "a full-fledged military power".
The 15-member council agreed on Friday (Aug 28) to "take further significant measures" against North Korea, just days after the SLBM launch.
North Korea is barred under UN resolutions from any use of ballistic missile technology, but has carried out several launches following its fourth nuclear test in January.
A spokesman for the North's foreign ministry labelled the UN statement a "product of brigandish acts of the US" and said Washington had ignored a warning about "hurting its dignity." "Now that the US posed threats to the dignity and the right to existence of the DPRK (North Korea) defying its serious warning, it will continue to take a series of eventful action steps as a full-fledged military power," the spokesman said.
"The DPRK has substantial means capable of reducing aggression troops in the US mainland and the operation theatre in the Pacific to ashes in a moment," the spokesman added in a statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday described the latest SLBM test as the "greatest success" and said it put the US mainland and the Pacific within striking range.
The missile was fired from a submarine off the northeastern port of Sinpo on Wednesday. It flew 500 kilometres towards Japan, far exceeding the range of the North's previous sub-launched missiles.
A proven SLBM system would take North Korea's nuclear strike threat to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and a "second-strike" capability in the event of an attack on its military bases.
Analysts say that while Pyongyang has made faster progress in its SLBM system than originally expected, it is still years away from deployment.