Kim's sister slams UN meeting on North Korea's spy satellite launch

People watch a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing what it called a space satellite toward the south, in Seoul, South Korea, May 31, 2023. - Reuters

SEOUL, June 4, 2023 (AFP): North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister Kim Yo Jong slammed the UN Security Council for holding a "most unfair" meeting over Pyongyang's recent spy satellite launch, state media reported on Sunday.

North Korea's new Chollima-1 rocket lost thrust and crashed into the sea with its satellite payload on Wednesday, Pyongyang said in a rare same-day announcement, adding that another test will be conducted as soon as possible.

The United States, South Korea and Japan slammed the launch, saying it violated UN resolutions barring the nuclear-armed country from any tests using ballistic missile technology.

The UN's under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, took the Security Council to task on Friday for a "lack of unity and action" on North Korea's tests.

Kim Yo Jong said the UN meeting was another reminder the council was acting as a "political appendage" to "gangster-like" Washington.

"I am very unpleased that the UNSC so often calls to account the DPRK's exercise of its rights as a sovereign state at the request of the US," she said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency and referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"(I) bitterly condemn and reject it as the most unfair and biased act of interfering in its internal affairs and violating its sovereignty," she added.

She vowed to continue launching spy satellites, which the North has previously pitched as necessary to counterbalance the growing US military presence in the region.

"The DPRK will continue to take proactive measures to exercise all the lawful rights of a sovereign state, including the one to military reconnaissance satellite launch," she said.

Analysts have said there is significant technological overlap between the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and space launch capabilities.

They have also warned that if North Korea succeeds in its satellite deployment, the surveillance capabilities would enable Pyongyang to more accurately target US and South Korean forces.

North Korea has defied years of punishing sanctions to continue work on its banned nuclear and missile programmes, conducting a string of banned weapons tests, including test-firing multiple ICBMS.

Last year, leader Kim declared his country an "irreversible" nuclear power, effectively ending the possibility of denuclearisation talks. - AFP

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