North Korea says no longer bound by nuclear test moratorium

North Korea says no longer bound by nuclear test moratorium

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea on Tuesday dismissed a rebuke by the U.N. Security Council of its failed long-range rocket launch and said it was no longer bound by an agreement with the United States for a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests and arms inspection.

The Security Council on Monday condemned the North for Friday’s rocket launch and warned of further action if Pyongyang carried out a nuclear test, reflecting concern that it may follow a pattern it set in 2009 with its second nuclear test.

“We resolutely and totally reject the unreasonable behavior of the UNSC to violate (our) legitimate right to launch satellites,” the North said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

The U.N. action was masterminded by the United States with a hostile intent denying the North of its right to conduct peaceful space research, the statement said.

“As the U.S. violated the February 29 DPRK-U.S. agreement through its undisguised hostile acts, we will no longer be bound to it,” the statement said, referring to a deal for a nuclear and missile test moratorium in return for food aid.

“We have thus become able to take necessary retaliatory measures, free from the agreement,” the North said, without specifying what actions it will take.

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