North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC on Monday that his country “will be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis,” despite diplomatic, economic, and military pressure from the outside world to abandon its quest for nuclear ICBMs.
“If the U.S. is reckless enough to use military means it would mean from that very day, an all-out war,” Han added, reiterating his threat to launch a “nuclear pre-emptive strike” if North Korea believes America and its allies are preparing to attack.
Other North Korean officials repeated the North’s accusations that the current joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea are an “aggressive war drill” and the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is heading for Korea in a “reckless move” that could provoke a war.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang responded directly to the BBC interview with Han, expressing China’s “serious concern with recent trends about North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.”
“China is unswerving in its commitment to realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, maintaining the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula, and continue to solve matters through dialogue and negotiations,” Lu added.
Despite the belligerent rhetoric from Pyongyang, John Everard at CNN detects signs that President Trump’s North Korea policy “might just be working,” noting that a much-feared nuclear test during the weekend celebration of national founder Kim Il-sung’s birthday did not occur, and the lone effort to test a missile ended with an embarrassing fizzle.