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Ballistic missiles are displayed at the Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang, N. Korea, on April 15. (File Photo)
Ballistic missiles are displayed at the Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang, N. Korea, on April 15. (File Photo)

North Korea Fires Unidentified Projectile

Days after a new leader took office in Seoul pledging to engage in dialogue with Pyongyang, North Korea has fired a long-range ballistic missile

North Korea Fires Unidentified Projectile

North Korea has fired a long-range ballistic missile, South Korea’s military said, days after a new leader took office in Seoul pledging to engage in dialogue with Pyongyang.

The missile flew more than 700 kilometers before landing in the Sea of Japan. China called for restraint and for no party to do anything to exacerbate tension following the test, AFP reported.

“Relevant Security Council resolutions have clear rules about North Korea using ballistic missile technology to carry out launches. China opposes relevant launch activities by North Korea that are contrary to Security Council resolutions,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“At present, the situation on the peninsula is complex and sensitive, and all relevant parties should exercise restraint and do nothing to further worsen regional tensions.”

Japan said the latest missile reached an altitude of more than 2,000 km and flew for 30 minutes before dropping into the sea between North Korea’s east coast and Japan.

The North has consistently test-fired missiles in that direction. Sunday’s launch, at 5:27 a.m. Seoul time, came two weeks after North Korea fired a missile that disintegrated minutes into flight, marking its fourth consecutive failure since March.

US President Donald Trump called for tougher sanctions against North Korea after it test-fired the missile, calling it an apparent attempt to test the South’s new liberal president and the US.

“Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea,” the White House said in a brief statement.

It impacted “so close to Russian soil ... the president cannot imagine that Russia is pleased”, the White House said.

North Korea “has been a flagrant menace for far too long”, it added.

Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, had phone conversations with his counterparts in Japan and South Korea to discuss the situation.

The US Pacific Command said it was assessing the type of missile but it was “not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile”.

“US Pacific Command is fully committed to working closely with our Republic of Korea and Japanese allies to maintain security,” a spokesperson said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took office on Wednesday, held his first National Security Council meeting as president in response to the missile launch, which he called a “clear violation” of UN Security Council resolutions, the presidential office said.

“The president said while South Korea remains open to the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, it is only possible when the North shows a change in attitude”, Yoon Young-chan, Moon’s press secretary, said at a briefing.

David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the flight indicates that the missile could have a range of 4,500 km if flown on a standard, instead of a lofted, trajectory; that would be considerably longer than Pyongyang’s current missiles.

Highlight: US President Donald Trump called for tougher sanctions against North Korea after it test-fired the missile, calling it an apparent attempt to test the South’s new president and the US

 

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