US defers missile test over North Korea tension
Washington: In a cautious move, the US Pentagon has deferred a pre-scheduled ballistic missile test in wake of the heat over Korean peninsula.
Pentagon officials said that testing of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, which was to be done on next Tuesday, was postponed to avoid North Korean misinterpretation, reported the BBC.
North Korea has continued upping the ante against the US and South Korea by issuing bellicose rhetoric and hostile acts with the recent one being the ban on a joint industrial joint and moving a missile to its east coast.
North Korean threats have seemingly been stemming from joint US and South Korean drills, which Pyongyang treats as rehearsal of an invasion while the US and South maintain that the drills are routine and for defensive purposes.
Recent joint drills between the US and South have seen Pyongyang react aggressively, especially after the US flew nuke B2 and B52 bombers over the Korean peninsula as a part of drill.
North Korea is also agitated over the UN sanctions that were imposed on it after Feb 12 missile test.
A provoked North Korea has since then, dishing out threats in the recent weeks, warning strikes aimed at the US mainland and island of Hawaii and Guam, and announcinf “state of war” with South.
Pyongyang was slammed for its belligerent rhetoric when it started acting to match the statement, starting with banning of a joint factory park, denying South Koreans the access to Kaesong zone.
North Korea on Friday also warned foreign diplomats in Pyongyang to start evacuating the embassies before April 10, and that it won’t be a guarantor of their security in face of war.
The North Korea analyst said tension at Kaesong is likely to tone down once the U.S. and South Korea wrap up their annual drills at the end of this month.
There was no sign Saturday that any diplomats were preparing to leave because of the notice.
Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said Friday that it had "no immediate plans" to withdraw workers from its embassy and condemned recent North Korean behavior.