North Korea Warns About Ending Long-range Missile Test Freeze

North Korea warned on Thursday that it could eventually end a freeze in long-range missile testing as it criticized a call by U.N. Security Council members for it to give up its nuclear weapons and denounced a recent U.S. missile test, Reuters informed.

Five European members of the U.N. Security Council met on Tuesday to urge North Korea to take “concrete steps” toward giving up its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.

That call came days after North Korea said it had test-fired a new submarine-launched ballistic missile, the latest in a series of missile tests since it resumed dialogue with the United States in 2018, and the break-off over the weekend of a round of talks in Sweden.

Despite the recent tests, Pyongyang has stuck to a freeze in testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles that has been in place since 2017 and allowed for three meetings between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump since last year.

North Korea’s foreign ministry raised questions about that restraint in a statement carried by the country’s official KCNA news agency. It referred to a U.S. test this month of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, which it called an effort to exert pressure on North Korea.

“The DPRK can give tit for tat, but exercises restraint under the judgment that it does not need to take a counteraction and it is premature,” it said, using the acronym for the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“But there is a limit to the patience of the DPRK and there is no guarantee that all our patience would continue indefinitely,” it added.

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