The U.S. State Department is warning it will use “a number of tools” to “hold North Korea accountable” if the nation proceeds with an illicit satellite launch.
Deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel addressed the issue regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Wednesday in a press conference.
“Any DPRK launch that uses ballistic missile technology would also include [space launch vehicles] SLVs used to launch a satellite into space and that would violate multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Patel told reporters.
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly completed military spy satellite this week as concerns mount that Pyongyang may prepare to launch the spacecraft using banned technology in the coming weeks.
“We had been very clear that we urge the DPRK to refrain from further threatening activity and call on Pyongyang to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy,” Patel said of the planned launch.
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“We have also been very clear about our unwavering commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as well as seeking dialogue with Pyongyang without preconditions,” the spokesman continued.
Though Pyongyang has routinely defied international law when it comes to ballistic missile testing and nuclear development, it plans to take it one step further and use long-range missile technology that has been banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Kim has argued that the satellite is necessary for space-based reconnaissance and in countering the U.S. and South Korea – which have ramped up joint military exercises in the face of increased aggression and illegal missile testing in North Korea.
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Patel alluded to a “number of tools” available to curb illicit North Korean activity, promising to crack down on the hermit kingdom if necessary.
“In terms of actions, we, of course, continue to have number of tools at our disposal to hold the DPRK accountable. You have seen us to take those steps and we will continue to do so,” Patel said Wednesday.
Pyongyang’s claims of space capability remain dubious.
Some South Korean analysts have reportedly argued that the satellite revealed in images by North Korea’s state-controlled media is too small and insufficient to capture high-resolution imagery from space.
Fox News Digital’s Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.