The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.
While the major world powers are a divided lot on what stand they should take against North Korea after its nuclear capable Inter Continental Ballistic Missile test launch yesterday, the Korean peninsula nation has gone a step further and has issued a grave threat against South Korea and the US, in an apparent attack over the joint US-South Korea military drills in the Korean peninsula region.
Timing its first ICBM launch event with the American Independence Day on July 4 and the 45th anniversary of the July 4 statement, the first official communiqué on agreement between North Korea and South Korea on Korean reunification, North Korea has warned against “submitting and kowtowing” to the US.
According to a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) release, North Korea has warned that “the US puppet warmongers inside and outside who are bringing escalated tension and crisis of a nuclear war to the Korean peninsula through reckless military actions, in defiance of the fundamental principle of peaceful reunification should be dealt with heavy blows and should be wiped out of this sacred land.”
According to the release available on media aggregators on North Korea, the South Korean regime, pushed by its candlelight demonstrators and subservient to the US, is abusing power and North Korea, out of its “heavy responsibility for the destiny of the nation”, will never tolerate such traitors. The release says that the South Korean authorities should not run amuck else there will be catastrophic consequences as North Korea is fully prepared, “including the ability to mount precision strikes to target even the eyes of all sorts of enemies, after putting in place the deterrence for showering the US with bullets and shells of justice any moment.”
South Korea and North Korea had issued a joint statement on 4 July 1972 on future roadmap for the Korean reunification. Central to the agreement were the clauses that said the reunification was to be achieved internally and peacefully, without use of force and reliance on external actors. But after North Korea started pursuing its nuclear and missile programme, South Korea started dithering from it. What followed was decades of highs and lows on the Korean reunification front with changing regimes and thus approaches in South Korea, irrespective of the prevailing public sentiment that was increasingly becoming hostile to North Korea after years of unilateral efforts by South Korea while North Korea remained glued with the 1972 position that served its purpose.
While China and Russia issued a joint statement yesterday calling for restraint from all stakeholders, its duplicity was clear from the fact that while asking North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile programme, it also asked the US and South Korea to stop their military drills in the region, an annual feature for many years, instead of taking a tough approach on North Korea’s increasingly aggressive posturing. That the joint statement also called the US to remove its ballistic missile defence system THAAD from the Korean peninsula also reaffirms the vested Chinese designs here. China terms THAAD deployment in its backyard a security threat and breach of its sovereignty.
The US, which performed a joint military drill with South Korea in response to the North Korean missile launch, confirmed that it was indeed an ICBM and according to independent experts, it was surprisingly successful. According to the claims made by North Korea, the missile reached to an altitude of over 2800 Kms and met all targets of the launch event. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un taunted that the successful ICBM launch was a gift to America on its Independence Day. Experts say that the altitude touched by the nuclear capable North Korean ICBM makes for a range of over 8000 Kms and therefore the missile can effectively reach to many parts of the American mainland.