N. Korean missile test in violation of UNSC resolutions regardless of nature: Pentagon

General

WASHINGTON-- North Korea's latest missile test is in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions regardless of whether it involved a hypersonic missile as claimed by the North, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday.

Kirby said the U.S. was still assessing the details of last week's missile test.

"We don't have any updates to an assessment ... with more specificity as to what was fired. We've called it a ballistic missile, and we're still assessing the details of it," he told a press briefing when asked if the missile test did in fact involve a hypersonic missile.

"As you know, the ballistic missile program that fire ballistic missiles continues to be in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and we certainly call on the DPRK to abide by those obligations and those responsibilities and to look for ways to deescalate," he added.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

North Korea on Thursday (Seoul time) announced that it had successfully test fired a newly developed hypersonic missile the day before, marking its first missile test since October and the second test launch of a self-claimed hypersonic missile since September.

The South Korean defense ministry has said the North's claimed success appeared to be "exaggerated," noting the impoverished country may not have developed or secured technologies for such an advanced flight vehicle.

Kirby insisted threats posed by North Korea and other actors in the Indo-Pacific region, including China, still warrant the development of more advanced defense capabilities by the U.S. and its allies.

"I think the development of advanced capabilities and certainly the development of advanced capabilities inside the rubric of the alliance with Japan really speaks to the growing tensions and challenges from a security perspective that we see in the Indo Pacific region, writ large," he said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed U.S. support for Japan's efforts to reinforce its defense capabilities in a virtual two-plus-two meeting with their Japanese counterparts last week.

"They talked about a lot of these security threats and challenges last week at the at the Two-Plus-Two that you mentioned, one North Korea and their advancing nuclear ambitions and their ballistic missile program," said Kirby.

"And of course, we continue to see as the Secretary said his opening statement, coercive, aggressive behavior out of the People's Republic of China," he added. "There is no shortage of things for the United States and Japan to want to continue to talk about and improve about our alliances and our capabilities, given the tensions and the challenges in the Indo Pacific right now."

Source: Yonhap News Agency