North Korea accuses US of 'double standards' over SLBM test

Seoul (AFP) – North Korea accused the United States of "double standards" over weapons testing, state media reported Thursday after an emergency UN Security Council meeting on the issue.


Pyongyang fired a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on Tuesday, the latest in a series of tests in recent weeks, prompting the US and Britain to call the diplomatic meeting in New York.

But a spokesperson from the North's foreign ministry said the test was not aimed at the United States and was carried out "purely for the defence of the country".

"So there is no need for the US to worry or trouble itself over the test-firing," the spokesperson said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

The statement added Washington's criticism of the North for "developing and test-firing the same weapon system as the one the US possesses or is developing is a clear expression of double standards".

"It only excites our suspicion" about the sincerity of Washington's insistence it has no hostile intent towards the country, it said.

Kim met three times with former president Donald Trump, who boasted of stopping a war but failed to reach a comprehensive agreement on ending North Korea's nuclear programme.

The talks process has been largely stalled since the collapse of their Hanoi summit in early 2019.

President Joe Biden has promised to keep seeking diplomacy but with a more low-key approach looking for areas for progress.

Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un blamed the United States for tensions, dismissing Washington's assertions that it does not have hostile intentions.