N. Korea’s official newspaper reiterates strengthening self-defense

SEOUL-- North Korea's state media reiterated its position to enhance its self-defense capabilities Sunday as it test-fired what appeared to be a ballistic missile in defiance of the international community's repeated warnings to stop provocations.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, said the regime will continue building up its military for stronger self-defense as "the imperialist U.S. and its followers are notching up pressure on us" and "driving the situation of the Korean Peninsula out of control by warmongering."

It didn't specifically mention the missile test.

"Our military and people don't blink an eyelash at any provocative actions by the enemies and will never give up on our powerful self-defense even for the whole world," it said.

Earlier in the day, Pyongyang fired a missile from the northwestern city of Kusong. It was estimated to have flown some 700 kilometers before landing in the East Sea.

It is the North's first provocation since the liberal Moon Jae-in government took office in Seoul. It is seen as Pyongyang's gambit to test South Korea's new president who prefers engaging with the North to pressure and sanctions.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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