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North Korea 'will test missiles weekly', senior official tells BBC 17 April 2017

Mike chinatopwin 2017-04-21 10:00:14
North Korea 'will test missiles weekly', senior official tells BBC
17 April 2017
From the sectionAsia
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Media captionThe BBC's John Sudworth asks North Korea's vice-foreign minister what 
message he has for Donald Trump.
North Korea will continue to test missiles, a senior official has told the BBC in Pyongyang, 
despite international condemnation and growing military tensions with the US.
"We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis," Vice-Foreign 
Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC's John Sudworth.
He said that an "all-out war" would result if the US took military action.
Earlier, US Vice-President Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the US.
He said his country's "era of strategic patience" with North Korea was over.
Mr Pence arrived in Seoul on Sunday hours after North Korea carried out a failed missile launch.
Tensions have been escalating on the peninsula, with heated rhetoric from both North Korea 
and the US.
Image copyrightAFPImage captionNorth Korea held a grand military parade on Saturday
Mr Han told the BBC: "If the US is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a 
nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method."
How did we get here?
North Korea has accelerated its nuclear and missile tests in recent years, despite international 
condemnation and UN sanctions.
Its aim is to be able to put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile that can 
reach targets around the world, including the US.
US President Donald Trump has said that will not happen, and stepped up pressure on the 
isolated North.
He has sent a navy strike group towards the Korean Peninsula, and the US and South Korea 
are moving ahead with the early deployment of a controversial missile defence system.
Despite the tension, North Korea may carry out a sixth nuclear test soon, observers say. It 
test-fired a missile on Sunday that exploded within seconds of launch, following a grand military 
parade on Saturday.
John Sudworth: Face-to-face with North Korea's top diplomat
What can the outside world do about N Korea?
All about North Korea's missiles
What has the US told North Korea?
Speaking alongside South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn on Monday, Mr Pence 
said North Korea should not test US President Donald Trump.
"Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new 
president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan," Mr Pence said.
"North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces 
of the United States in this region."
He reiterated US support for South Korea, telling his host: "We are with you 100%."
Last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that pre-emptive military 
action was "on the table".

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Media captionUS Vice-President Mike Pence: "North Korea would do well not to test
 [President Trump's] resolve"
But the US is also working with China, North Korea's main ally, to pressure the regime 
to stop nuclear and missile tests.
Mr Pence told journalists that the White House hoped China would use its "extraordinary 
levers" to pressure North Korea, the Associated Press reports.
The BBC's Stephen Evans in Seoul says US policy now seems to be to persuade China to 
contain North Korea while keeping the economic and military pressure on.
What does North Korea say?
Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC that North Korea believed its nuclear 
weapons "protect" it from the threat of US military action.
"If the US is reckless enough to use military means it would mean from that very day, an 
all-out war," he said.
The North casts the US as the aggressor.

At a news conference at the UN on Monday, North Korea's permanent representative 
Ambassador Kim In-ryong, condemned the US missile strikes in Syria, which targeted an 
air base after a suspected chemical attack by the government.
He said the US was "disturbing global peace and stability and insisting on the gangster-like 
logic that its invasion of a sovereign state is decisive and just and proportionate and
 contributes to defending the international order".
How advanced is North Korea's nuclear programme?
And what about other world powers?
China has reiterated its call for North Korea to stop all tests, and has also called for a 
peaceful solution.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters in Beijing on Monday that 
the Korean peninsula was "highly sensitive, complicated and high risk" and that all sides 
should "avoid taking provocative actions that pour oil on the fire".
On Sunday, Lt Gen HR McMaster, the US top security adviser, said his country was working 
on a "range of options" with China, the first confirmation the two countries were co-operating 
to find a solution to the North Korean issue.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would not tolerate "missile adventures 
by Pyongyang" but a unilateral use of power by the US would be "a very risky course".
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday told a parliamentary session that diplomatic 
efforts were "important to maintain peace", but "dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is
He added that Japan needed to apply pressure on Pyongyang to "seriously respond to a 
dialogue" with the international community.