North Korea says it's readying nukes

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his country's nuclear weapons made ready for use at a moment's notice, the official state news agency reported Friday.

See Full Article

Kim also said his country will ready its military so it is prepared to carry out pre-emptive attacks, calling the current situation very precarious, according to KCNA.

On Thursday, North Korea fired six short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast, South Korean officials said, just hours after the U.N. Security Council approved the toughest sanctions on the North in two decades for its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

The firings also came shortly after South Korea's National Assembly passed its first legislation on human rights in North Korea.

The North Korean projectiles, fired from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan, flew about 100 to 150 kilometres (60 to 90 miles) before landing in the sea, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

It wasn't immediately known exactly what North Korea fired, and the projectiles could be missiles, artillery or rockets, South Korea's Defence Ministry said.

North Korea routinely test-fires missiles and rockets, but often conducts weapons launches when angered at international condemnation.

Thursday's firings were seen as a "low-level" response to the U.N. sanctions, with North Korea unlikely to launch any major provocation until its landmark ruling Workers' Party convention in May, according to Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

North Korea has not issued an official reaction to the new U.N. sanctions. But citizens in its capital, Pyongyang, interviewed by The Associated Press said Thursday they believe their country can fight off any sanctions.

"No kind of sanctions will ever work on us, because we've lived under U.S. sanctions for more than half a century," said Pyongyang resident Song Hyo Il. "And in the future, we're going to build a powerful and prosperous country here, relying on our own development."

North Korean state media earlier warned that the imposition of new sanctions would be a "grave provocation" that shows "extreme" U.S. hostility against the country. It said the sanctions would not result in the country's collapse or prevent it from launching more rockets.

The U.N. sanctions include mandatory inspections of cargo leaving and entering North Korea by land, sea or air; a ban on all sales or transfers of small arms and light weapons to the North; and the expulsion of North Korean diplomats who engage in "illicit activities."

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China, North Korea's closest ally, hoped the U.N. sanctions would be implemented "comprehensively and seriously," while harm to ordinary North Korean citizens would be avoided.

At the United Nations, Russia's ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, asked about the North's firing of short-range projectiles, said, "It means that they're not drawing the proper conclusions yet."

Japan's U.N. ambassador, Motohide Yoshikawa, said, "That's their way of reacting to what we have decided."

"They may do something more," Yoshikawa said. "So we will see."

In January, North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test, which it claimed was a hydrogen bomb. Last month, it put a satellite into orbit with a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others saw as a cover for a test of banned ballistic missile technology.

Just before the U.N. sanctions were unanimously adopted, South Korea's National Assembly passed a bill that would establish a centre tasked with collecting, archiving and publishing information about human rights in North Korea. It is required to transfer that information to the Justice Ministry, a step parliamentary officials say would provide legal grounds to punish rights violators in North Korea when the two Koreas eventually reunify.

North Korea, which views any criticism of its rights situation as part of a U.S.-led plot to overthrow its government, had warned that enactment of the law would result in "miserable ruin."

In 2014, a U.N. commission of inquiry on North Korea published a report laying out abuses such as a harsh system of political prison camps holding up to 120,000 people. The commission urged the Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court over its human rights record.

Associated Press writers Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, Christopher Bodeen in Beijing and Edith Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • ISIS’s bizarre challenge to Harry

    World News Toronto Sun
    An ISIS headcase has challenged Prince Harry to a fight and is vowing to send him “to hellfire”. According to the U.K. Sun, a death cult member — identified as a Singaporean — made the challenge in a bizarre 3 1/2-minute video. Source
  • Republicans plan deep cuts to corporate rates

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The White House and congressional Republicans are finalizing a tax plan that would slash the corporate rate while likely reducing the penalty for the wealthiest Americans, with President Donald Trump ready to roll out the policy proposal at midweek. Source
  • Montreal bagel boss says his new plan will make neighbours breathe easy

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The co-owner of one of Montreal's most-famous bagel shops says he has a plan to help his neighbours breathe easier. Robert Morena of St-Viateur Bagel says a new filter from Europe will soon arrive that will ensure the air around his store is safe to inhale. Source
  • Game of Throne nuptials no Red Wedding

    World News Toronto Sun
    For a Game of Thrones-obsessed couple, the sword and sorcery epic seemed like a fine theme for a wedding. And they tossed in some Lord of the Rings for good measure! Rekhaza Panji Riawan, 28 — aka King Joffrey Baratheon — made Sista Mauli Wulandari, 27 — aka the Elven Queen, Galadriel from LOTR — his wife. Source
  • Meet Kevin McCormick, the man who made it his mission to return Canada's lost military medals

    Canada News CBC News
    While their achievements in uniform can be found on their service records, the military medals that mark the deeds of Canada's men and women are sometimes lost as the decades roll one over the other. Source
  • B.C. Liberal leadership race could field 8 candidates: Andrew Wilkinson

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- The race to replace former premier Christy Clark as leader of British Columbia's Liberal party is getting crowded, with as many as eight candidates expected to announce by the end of this week. Source
  • N.B. newlyweds reunited with belongings stolen after move to B.C.

    Canada News CTV News
    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- A newly married couple whose move to British Columbia from New Brunswick started with the theft of a U-Haul have been reunited with all their belongings, including wedding gifts. Police in Abbotsford say the truck was stolen in the Fraser Valley city last week and its contents were recovered from a home in Surrey, where 12 stolen vehicles and items from another stolen U-Haul were also found. Source
  • Ottawa tightens rules around using information obtained through torture

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government is strengthening safeguards around the use of information derived through torture, but will not issue a blanket ban on receiving intelligence that may have been obtained from abuse or mistreatment. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the goal of new directives released today is to protect the security of Canadians while ensuring the government is not complicit in torture by foreign states. Source
  • Puerto Rico governor fears humanitarian crisis in wake of Hurricane Maria

    World News CBC News
    Most people living near a crumbling dam in storm-battered Puerto Rico have been moved to safety, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said on Monday, as he urged the U.S. Congress to fund an aid package to avert a humanitarian crisis after Hurricane Maria. Source
  • Province to help African Nova Scotians get title to land given centuries ago

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia government says it is poised to help black residents who have struggled for decades to gain clear title to land that has been in their families since many arrived as Loyalists in the 1800s. Source