North Korea accuses the International Maritime Organization of being a US “puppet” after the missile criticism

North Korea has reacted angrily to criticism that its missile tests endanger shipping by accusing the International Maritime Organization of being a “puppet” of the United States.

Last week, the International Maritime Organization’s Committee on Maritime Safety passed a resolution condemning Pyongyang’s failure to alert shipping about its missile tests because it “seriously threatens the safety of seafarers and international shipping.”

A group of 13 countries, including the United States, called for an end to unannounced ballistic missile launches through international shipping lanes in a submission to the International Maritime Organization in March.

They cited the text of the Solas Maritime Safety Agreement, which North Korea signed, which requires advance notification of events such as naval exercises, missile launches, space missions and nuclear tests.

The submission drew a reprimand last week in the committee, sparking outrage in North Korea. It claimed that these actions were routine measures in defense of national security.

The talks in the committee come as North Korea on Wednesday failed to put its first military spy satellite into orbit when it crashed off its west coast.

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“This excess of power makes one view the organization as a White House office rather than a United Nations expert body,” according to an article written by Kim Myong-chul, an international affairs analyst, carried by North Korean news agency KCNA.

He further claimed that the body was being “turned into a toy by the United States” and risked losing the international community’s trust.

North Korea tested a record number of missiles in 2022 and included missiles capable of hitting the US mainland on the Pacific island of Guam. This year the tests continued.

The 2017 launches by North Korea were condemned by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) due to the risks they posed to shipping. Member States continued to criticize this practice.

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