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North Korea Slams End of Seoul’s Missile Range Limit by US

“It is an apparently deliberate and hostile act that the US lifted the firing range limit," North Korea’s state agency stated.

North Korea’s state media published Monday an article criticizing the recent lifting of restrictions by the US on South Korea’s ability to develop missiles.

“It is an apparently deliberate and hostile act that the US lifted the firing range limit, not content with the removal of the warhead weight limit through the approval of several revised ‘missile guidelines,’” North Korea’s state agency KCNA stated.

State media also accused the US of “double-dealing” and its DPRK policy as “just trickery.” The article was said to have been written by “international affairs critic” Kim Myong Chol, who also commented that Washington and Seoul have “made clear their ambition of aggression.”

Last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced the elimination of the joint missile guidelines, which had prohibited Seoul from developing or possessing missiles with a range exceeding 800 km (497 mi).

“We are pleased to announce the end of the missile guidelines. This is a symbolic and practical measure to externally show the solidity of the ROK-US alliance along with the conclusion of the ROK-US defense cost agreement in the early days of the Biden administration’s inauguration,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said.

Despite the recent development, the South Korean military stated that China has not raised any complaint.

US President Joe Biden (right) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in participate in a press conference in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021
US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in participate in a press conference in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Kim Jong Un’s Vow

Earlier this year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to strengthen his nation’s military capabilities, as well as its nuclear arsenal.

North Korea said it needed to develop nuclear weapons to defend itself against a possible US invasion. 

“We must further strengthen the nuclear war deterrent while doing our best to build up the most powerful military strength,” Kim said on Korea Central Television.

In March, North Korea fired two missiles from its east coast into the Sea of Japan, prompting a warning from Washington.

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