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North Korea has provided a defense for its recent spate of ballistic missile launches describing it as a legitimate defence against what it described as a threat by the United States military forces which has run for over a decade.
The missile launches had also not in anyway harmed the safety of civil aviation or posed a threat to neighbouring countries, North Korea’s State-run KCNA news agency said on Saturday, citing officials and a statement from the country’s aviation authorities.
Pyongyang’s statement is coming on the heels of a response to recent criticism by the United Nation’s civil aviation authority over North Korea’s six missile launches in a 12-day period, including an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan on Tuesday.
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‘(The missile tests) did not pose any threat or harm to the safety of civil aviation as well as the safety of neighbouring countries and regions,’ KCNA reported, citing an aviation administration spokesperson in the country.
‘The missile test launch by the DPRK is a regular and planned self-defensive step for defending the country’s security and the regional peace from the US direct military threats that have lasted for more than half a century,’ South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency quoted the North Korea’s national aviation as saying in a statement.
Meanwhile, the DPRK is the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — North Korea’s official name.
Saturday’s statement was a rebuke to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its recent condemnation of the missile launches, which the UN body said had posed a serious safety risk to international aviation.
Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington have ramped up joint military drills in recent weeks and carried out additional naval exercises involving the US Navy’s USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike group.