North Korea’s recent missile tests are a legitimate act of self-defense by a “fully-fledged nuclear power” and are not against international law, North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the UN Conference on Disarmament, on Tuesday.

“It is the United States’ hostile policy and its aggressive joint military drills, nuclear threats and military build-up around the Korean peninsula that really aggravates the situation on the Korean peninsula and the region and which compels the DPRK to also up its nuclear deterrence,” he said.

US Ambassador Robert Wood responded that it was “ridiculous” to claim North Korea’s actions were legal.

NAN reports that the UN Security Council said North Korea’s ballistic missile activities were greatly increasing tension in the Korean peninsula and beyond.

The 15-member Council, in a press statement strongly condemning the ballistic missile launch, vowed to “fully and comprehensively implement all measures” imposed on the country over ballistic missile launch conducted by the country on Sunday.

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Council also strongly urged all other UN Member States to do the same.

Members further regretted that the country was diverting resources to the pursuit of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons while its own citizens “have great unmet needs”.

Council expressed utmost concern over the DPRK’s ‘highly destabilising behaviour and flagrant and provocative defiance’ of the Council by conducting this ballistic missile launch in violation of its international obligations under the body’s relevant resolutions, dating from 2006.

Members agreed that the Security Council would continue to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures including sanctions, in line with the Council’s previously expressed determination. (NAN)