North Korean leader’s sister slams US for criticizing failed satellite launch

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Powerful North Korean sister Kim Jong Un on Thursday accused the United States of “gangster-like” hypocrisy for criticizing her country’s failed launch of a spy satellite military and insisted that a successful launch would soon be made. .

Kim Yo Jong said North Korea’s efforts to acquire space reconnaissance capabilities were a legitimate exercise of its sovereign right and reaffirmed the country’s rejection of UN Security Council resolutions that bar it from carry out any launch involving ballistic missile technology.

His comments to state media came a day after the rocket carrying the satellite failed. North Korea said the rocket lost thrust after a stage separation and crashed in waters off the west coast of the Korean peninsula.

Washington, South Korea and Japan were quick to criticize the launch. Adam Hodge, spokesman for the US National Security Council, said Washington strongly condemned the North Korean launch because it used banned ballistic missile technology, increased tensions and risked destabilizing security in the region and beyond.

In his statement, Kim Yo Jong briefly mentioned Hodge’s comments before saying that the United States is “unleashing hackneyed gibberish caused by its brigand and abnormal thinking.”

“If the DPRK’s satellite launch should be particularly censured, the United States and all other countries, which have already launched thousands of satellites, should be exposed. This is nothing but a self-contradictory fallacy,” she said, using the initials of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

She noted how the United States was keeping a close eye on the North through its own reconnaissance satellites and other aerial assets, calling the Americans a “group of gangsters” who would deem it “illegal and threatening” if North Korea attempted to send a satellite into space by balloon.

“The wacky logic that only the DPRK should not be allowed to do so under the (UN Security Council) ‘resolution’ that prohibits the use of ballistic rocket technology for any purpose, although for other countries to do so, is clearly gangster and wrong to seriously violate the DPRK’s right to use space and oppress it illegally,” she said.

“It is certain that the DPRK’s military reconnaissance satellite will be properly put into space orbit in the near future and begin its mission,” she added.

Citing what she described as US hostility to the North, Kim reiterated that Pyongyang has no intention of resuming negotiations with Washington, which have stalled since 2019 over disagreements over crippling sanctions imposed. by the United States to the North’s nuclear weapons and missile programme.

Wednesday’s launch continued a series of provocations in North Korean military protests, including the test firing of around 100 missiles since the start of 2022 that underscored Kim Jong Un’s attempts to acquire the dual capability to carry out nuclear strikes both in the Americas and in South Korea.

Wednesday’s failed launch raised safety concerns in South Korea and Japan, where residents of some areas were briefly told to take shelter shortly after the launch. The South Korean military then recovered an object believed to be part of the North Korean rocket from waters 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of the southwestern island of Eocheongdo and plans to analyze the technology.

A military spy satellite is one of several high-tech weapons systems that Kim has publicly pledged to develop to bolster his nuclear deterrent in the face of US sanctions and pressure. Other weapons on his wish list include a multi-warhead missile, a nuclear submarine, a solid propellant intercontinental ballistic missile and a hypersonic missile.

The UN Security Council imposed economic sanctions on North Korea for its previous satellite and ballistic missile launches, but it did not punish the North for its recent tests. Permanent council members China and Russia have consistently rejected US-led efforts to toughen sanctions on Pyongyang, pointing to a rift created by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

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