North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is reportedly preparing to launch another Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on September 9.
According to a report from South Asia’s Leading Multimedia News Agency, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon confirmed this latest development at a press conference.
Image: Kim Jong Un
Speaking at a meeting of defence ministers which was held in Seoul on Thursday, Lee said: “This is a very serious situation, one that must be seen as a matter of urgency. North Korea won’t need much time before its nuclear armament programme is completed.”
Lee continued, “World leaders need to step in immediately with drastic measures to curb their recklessness.”
In a similar development, media reports confirm a large number of people suffered varying degree of injuries during a protest in Seoul.
The uprising was against U.S. military which recently added more launchers to the high-tech missile-defence system THAAD in a southern town to counter North Korean threats.
Protesters tried to block the road where U.S. Forces were transporting four additional THAAD missile interceptor launchers to a base in Seongju and in the process entered into a scuffle with armored riot police and that left many injured, CNN reported.
That roll-out was “temporarily” completed on Thursday, a spokesman for South Korea’s defence ministry said, adding it was necessary to counter increased threats from North Korea.
South Korea President Moon Jae-in held discussions on North Korea with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After the meeting, Abe and Moon issued a statement saying “now is the time to further increase sanctions and pressures against the North as much as possible rather than seeking dialogue,” according to Moon’s spokesman Yoon Young-chan.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has also called on world leaders to step up with political and economic actions that will stop Kim Jong-un from advancing in the development of nuclear weapons and inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
However, Guterres advised against adopting military action, saying the “potential consequences to military action are too horrific.”
“The DPRK has broken the global norm against nuclear test explosions but a confrontational rhetoric may lead to unintended consequences. Any solution must be political,” the UN leader said at the U.N. Headquarters in New York.