N. Korea's 'global threat' requires global response: NATO chief

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 10.09.2017 23:00
Updated 10.09.2017 23:02

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday that North Korea's nuclear and missile program represented a "global threat and requires a global response".

In an interview with the BBC, he also refused to say whether an attack on the Pacific US territory of Guam would trigger the military alliance's collective defense clause.

"The reckless behavior of North Korea is a global threat and requires a global response, and that of course also includes NATO," Stoltenberg told "The Andrew Marr Show".

"We call on Korea to abandon its nuclear programs, its missile programs, and to refrain from more testing, because this is a blatant violation of several UN security resolutions and it's a threat to international peace and stability."

Asked whether a strike against Guam would be covered under the clause that commits NATO members to come to the defense of each other, he said: "I will not speculate about whether Article Five will be applied in such a situation.

"What I will say is we are now totally focused on how can we contribute to a peaceful solution of the conflict."

Ignoring warnings and global condemnation, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has feted nuclear engineers and technicians with a banquet feast after they helped carry out last week's sixth nuclear test in the country.

Kim appeared at the Mokran House banquet hall and addressed attendees, who included ranking military officials, Pyongyang's mouthpiece, the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), reported yesterday.

"The banquet proceeded in an atmosphere overflowing with the high revolutionary enthusiasm," KCNA reported. An image of the event posted on the Pyongyang agency showed attendees in black suits and ties sitting at large round tables covered with white linen.

A separate banquet was held at a restaurant on Saturday to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the nation's founding, KCNA reported.

The news of the banquets come exactly one week after Pyongyang said it had tested a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile [ICBM], drawing worldwide condemnation.

In response, the United States drafted a resolution for tougher UN sanctions against North Korea that includes a proposal to freeze leader Kim Jon-Un's assets and an oil embargo. A UN Security Council vote on the resolution is expected Monday.

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