N. Korea condemns U.S. ballistic missile test

SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- North Korea condemned on Sunday the United States' recent ballistic missile test, saying the "military provocation" justifies its military buildup.

On May 22, the U.S. fired the intercontinental ballistic missile Minuteman 3 from a California base as part of the country's test flight aimed at determining weapon accuracy. The original test plan scheduled for mid-April was delayed amid tensions with North Korea.

"Today's reality on the Korean Peninsula desperately urges our republic to strengthen our defense capacity with every means," North Korea's mainstream Rodong Sinmun said in an editorial. "We do not hide the fact that we are developing (ballistic) missiles in order to secure final victory in an all-out war against the U.S."

The U.S. missile test contradicts its argument that the North's weapon tests constitute a violation of the international law, the newspaper said, calling the recent launch a "missile threat."

North Korea's Pyongyang Broadcasting Station radio also criticized the U.S. test on the same day, saying it constitutes a double standard applied by the U.S.

The claims have been long held by the North, which argued that its missile and nuclear developments are intended to counteract potential attacks by the U.S.

The North heavily denounced annual Seoul-Washington military exercises in March, saying they are a war rehearsal targeting North Korea.

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