Defense Department Calls on North Korea to End Military Buildup
By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014 Defense Department officials are aware of reports that North Korea has fired short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, and call on that nation to end its military buildup, Pentagon Press spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said today.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, receives a briefing as a North Korean soldier takes pictures of him through a window at Freedom House and Conference Row in Korea’s Demilitarized Zone, Sept. 30, 2013. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Warren made his remarks to reporters during an off-camera briefing on a range of topics.
“We are aware of … reports that the North Koreans fired several short-range ballistic missiles,” Warren said. “Rather than spend their money polluting the waters around North Korea, they should spend their money feeding their people.”
According to North Korea’s official news organization, the Korean Central News Agency, the nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un, guided a rocket-firing drill July 26, the day before the anniversary of the United States, China, North Korea and South Korea agreeing in 1953 to an armistice, officially ending hostilities in the Korean War.
The notice in the KCNA article said the drill “was conducted by a firepower strike unit of the strategic force of the [Korean People’s Army] tasked to strike bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces in South Korea.”
Earlier today, other news and social media outlets reported that North Korea launched four more short-range ballistic missiles eastward into the Sea of Japan, but that only two of the missiles reached the water.
In a briefing yesterday at the Pentagon, Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said the “proliferation activities of North Korea, their desire for nuclear missiles and nuclear capabilities, as we've said over and over again, are highly threatening to the global security environment, and denuclearization of North Korea is an essential part of the way ahead in that part of the world.”
At the Pentagon today, Warren said, “We continue to see the North Koreans expend resources on upgrading their military, on conducting tests of more and more sophisticated weapons systems, and, as we have for decades, we call on the North Koreans to stop their military buildup and work toward peace on the peninsula.”
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