North Korea denounces UN over satellite, 'gangster-like' US demand

  • World
  • Sunday, 04 Jun 2023

FILE PHOTO: 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/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) -North Korea denounced on Sunday the U.N. Security Council for discussing its recent satellite launch in response to a "gangster-like U.S. request", and it vowed to reject sanctions and take action to defend itself.

The U.S. called for a UNSC meeting last week to discuss North Korea's attempt to put its first spy satellite in orbit, which ended in failure with the booster and payload plunging into the sea.

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a powerful ruling party official, said that in accepting Washington's "gangster-like request" and ignoring North Korea's right to space development, the Security Council was showing it was a U.S. "political appendage".

"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 U.S., and bitterly condemn and reject it as the most unfair and biased act of interfering in its internal affairs and violating its sovereignty," Kim said in a statement carried by the state KCNA news agency.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DRRK) is North Korea's official name.

Referring to the satellite launch, she said North Korea had a right to defend itself against threats from the U.S. and its allies, which it says are ramping up tension with military exercises.

U.N. sanctions resolutions are a "product of hostile policy of the U.S. and its vassal forces" and North Korea would never acknowledge them, she said, pledging to exercise sovereign rights, including launching spy satellites.

In another dispatch, KCNA published a commentary it said was by international affairs analyst Kim Myong Chol criticising a resolution adopted by the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) security committee that "strongly" condemned North Korea's missile tests as a serious threat to seafarers and international shipping.

The analyst accused the IMO of being "completely politicised" in line with hostile U.S.-led policy.

Later on Sunday, South Korea's Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup met his Japanese counterpart, Yasukazu Hamada, at a security conference in Singapore, and condemned the satellite launch and agreed to boost security cooperation.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin, Editing by Nick Zieminski, Robert Birsel)

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