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PoliticsNorth Korea

North Korea accuses US of 'provocation' amid sanctions

January 15, 2022

Pyongyang is angered by new US sanctions, which were in response to missile tests. North Korea also fired more projectiles after claiming Washington was using "gangster-like logic."

The flags of North Korea and the United States painted on cracked wall
North Korea's foreign ministry has accused the US of 'evident provocation'Image: PantherMedia/imago images

North Korea defended its missile tests and said the United States is intentionally escalating the situation by imposing sanctions, North Korean state media reported on Friday.

In a statement carried by state news agency KCNA, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the recent development of weapons did not target any specific country and were just part of North Korea's efforts to modernize its national defense capability.

North Korea on Friday fired two more projectiles, with the South Korean military identifying them as short-range ballistic missiles, which flew for 430 kilometers (267 miles).

This follows two other launches this month. In the months leading into the new year, Pyongyang had apparently halted the launches.

On Saturday, North Korean state media said it had test launched two ballistic missiles from a train. 

'An evident provocation and gangster-like logic'

Ahead of the Friday launch, North Korea said the weapons were "hypersonic missiles."

Kim Jong Un viewing missile test fire
North Korea said it launched 'hypersonic missiles' in testsImage: KCNA/KNS/AFP

North Korea has engaged in a number of missile launches, including two launches that were made since last week.

On Wednesday, the United States imposed sanctions on five North Koreans linked to the country's ballistic missile program in response to the tests.

North Korea's foreign ministry said in a statement that the US sanctions show that Washington "is still engrossed in its policy of isolating and stifling" North Korea.

"The US accusation of [North Korea]'s legitimate exercise of the right to self-defense is an evident provocation and a gangster-like logic," the statement said.

Kim Jong Un speaking with military officials
North Korea's foregin ministry called the launches a 'legitimate exercise of the right to self-defense'Image: KCNA/KNS/AFP

What did the US say about the launches?

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a Thursday interview with US broadcaster MSNBC that North Korea may be seeking attention with its missile launches.

"I think some of this is North Korea trying to get trying to get attention. It's done that in the past; it'll probably continue to do that," Blinken said.

Blinken called the missile tests "profoundly destabilizing," and added that "it's dangerous, and it contravenes a whole host of UN Security Council Resolutions."

Blinken also called for North Korea to sit down for talks and said that the United States had no "hostile intent" toward North Korea.

sdi/wd (AFP, Reuters)