ABU DHABI, 15th May, 2017 (WAM) -- A UAE newspaper has said that at a time when US President Donald Trump softened his stance after threatening military action, and new South Korean President Moon Jae-In sent conciliatory messages, it is extremely disappointing that North Korea has trod an antagonistic and dangerous path by test-firing a ballistic missile.
Moon, the first liberal leader in Seoul in nearly a decade, made it clear as he took his oath of office that he would even be willing to visit the North if the circumstances were right. Trump also indicated that he would be "honoured" to talk with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under favourable conditions.
"Sadly, such reconciliatory messages seem to have fallen on deaf ears," said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Monday.
The paper went on to say, "Multiple sets of United Nations and US sanctions have done little to dissuade Pyongyang from pursuing its nuclear and missile ambitions so far and its continued provocations cannot be taken lightly any longer.
"North Korea attempted but failed to test-launch ballistic missiles four times in the past two months. It has conducted various tests since the beginning of last year at an unprecedented pace. It also conducted its fourth and fifth nuclear tests last year.
"On Feb.12, Pyongyang launched a Pukguksong-2 missile, an upgraded, extended-range version of its submarine-launched ballistic missile, from the same site.
"North Korea is also widely believed to be developing an intercontinental missile tipped with a nuclear weapon that is capable of reaching the United States. Trump has vowed not to let that happen.
"Tokyo is furious and rightly so. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called the launch "absolutely unacceptable" and warned that Japan will respond resolutely. Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has stated that he and his South Korean counterpart agree "dialogue for dialogue’s sake with North Korea is meaningless."
"The North Korean launch has come as troops from the US, Japan and two European nations gather near Guam for drills that are partly a message to North Korea. The USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft supercarrier, is engaging with South Korean navy ships in waters off the Korean Peninsula.
"The latest test, as the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has rightly stated, represents a challenge to UN Security Council resolutions and a legitimate threat to international security and stability.
"The need to maintain the rules against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the world should never be underestimated.
"The international community should certainly take all necessary measures to address such violations in order to maintain international peace and security," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.