US hits back at N.Korea over ICBM claims, asks to refrain from provocation

North Korea had earlier claimed that it is planning to test an intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of reaching the United States.

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Washington, Jan 3: The Pentagon on Wednesday asked North Korea to refrain from provocative actions amid reports that Pyongyang is planning to test an intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of reaching the United States.

On Tuesday, US president elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to comment on North Korea's claims on ICBM missiles.

"We further call on all states to take steps to show that there are consequences to the DPRK's unlawful conduct," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters at his daily news conference. DPRK is the official name of North Korea.

Cook made the remarks while responding to questions on statements coming from the North Korean leadership on launching an ballistic missile capable of reaching the US.

"We call on the DPRK to refrain from provocative actions and to make the strategic choice to fulfil its international obligations and commitments and return to serious talks. We reaffirm our iron-clad commitments to defend our allies to utilising the full spectrum of US extended deterrence capabilities," Cook said.

Missile

Multiple UN Security Council resolutions, he said explicitly prohibit North Korea's launches using ballistic missile technology or further development of a ballistic missile programme.

"We call on all states to use every available channel and means of influence to make clear to North Korea and its enablers that launches using ballistic missile technology or efforts to advance North Korea's ballistic missile capabilities are unacceptable," he said.

The UN resolution, Cook said, explicitly prohibits North Korea from engaging in ballistic missile tests and from developing this technology.

"We would call on the North Koreans to refrain from provocative actions," he said, adding that there are ample reasons why North Korea should not carry out something of a provocative nature.

Cook said the United States is working closely with the South Koreans to install and deploy a missile defence system as quickly and efficiently as possible.

"We will do everything we can working with the South Koreans to do that. We think it's an important part of our broader missile defence efforts in support of our ally and in support of the region as well," he said.

Cook said the international community is uniformly challenging North Korea to once again not carry out provocative actions.

"This is a country that has demonstrated an unwillingness to be part of the international community, and we're once again calling on all players, all countries to use what influence they have to get North Korea not to engage in these kind of provocative actions," he reiterated.

PTI 

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