North Korea threatens South after firing missile

A South Korean soldier stands guard at the joint security area of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone near Paju, South Korea. North Korea said South Korea should honor past joint declarations despite missile provocations. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI

May 15 (UPI) — North Korea‘s embassy in Beijing issued a fresh warning to the new South Korean administration of Moon Jae-in, warning Seoul against strengthening the security alliance with “foreign powers” like Japan and the United States.

“Anyone who follows the lead of foreign powers, and distances himself from a unitary people in the pursuit of selfish interests and desires, cannot avoid the harsh judgment of the people,” a representative at the diplomatic mission based in China told reporters in Beijing, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

The statement comes a day after North Korea tested a ballistic missile that it claimed could be mounted with a “large-sized nuclear warhead” and capable of reaching the continental United States and U.S. operations in the Pacific.

South Korea’s unification ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng said Monday Seoul called on Pyongyang to cease engaging in provocations.

Lee also said North Korea should not misjudge South Korea’s tough stance against missile tests despite reports of a more “conciliatory” approach to inter-Korea relations under Moon.

“There is a fundamental understanding North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations pose a great threat to the peace and stability of the international community,” Lee said. “North Korea should not make an inaccurate judgment because of a changed [political] environment” in the South.

The South Korean official also said Pyongyang’s public announcement of the missile test was “not appropriate.”

“That is because we must have many relations to pursue with the North, and engage in dialogue,” Lee said.

On Monday, North Korea’s diplomatic representative in Beijing did not address any misgivings Seoul had about its recent missile test, or how the provocation could pose an obstacle to dialogue and reconciliation.

“At present the South Korean people are hungry for a new politics, a new society and a new way of life,” the official said, regarding the election of Moon, but added change with the North would only come about if Seoul complies with past joint declarations with North Korea.

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