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  World   South Asia  04 Jul 2017  North Korea launches ballistic missile, says South Korea military

North Korea launches ballistic missile, says South Korea military

AP
Published : Jul 4, 2017, 7:54 am IST
Updated : Jul 4, 2017, 7:54 am IST

Japan's government said the missile was believed to have landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan.

People watch news on TV showing a file image of a missile launch by North Korea at the Seoul Railway Station, South Korea. (Photo: AP)
 People watch news on TV showing a file image of a missile launch by North Korea at the Seoul Railway Station, South Korea. (Photo: AP)

Seoul: North Korea on Tuesday launched yet another ballistic missile in the direction of Japan, South Korean officials said, part of a string of recent test-firings as the North works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the launch, which came before the US celebration of its national independence, was made from North Phyongan province. Other details were scarce. It wasn't immediately clear if this was a routine firing of a short-range missile or an attempt to perfect North Korea's longer-range missiles.

Just last week South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump focused much of their first meeting on opposing North Korea's development of atomic weapons that threaten both allies.

Japan's government said the missile was believed to have landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan but no damage to ships or aircraft in the area has been reported.

China's UN ambassador, Liu Jieyi, warned Monday that further escalation of already high tensions with North Korea risks getting out of control, "and the consequences would be disastrous."

The Korean Peninsula has been divided between the American-backed South and the authoritarian North since the 1950-53 Korean War. Worries have increased as the North's leader Kim Jong Un pushes to expand his nuclear arsenal and develop ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.

Tuesday's launch is the first by the North since a June 8 test of a new type of cruise missile that Pyongyang says is capable of striking US and South Korean warships "at will."

Since taking office on May 10, Moon has tried to improve strained ties with North Korea, but the North has continued its missile tests. Pyongyang says it needs nuclear weapons and powerful missiles to cope with what it calls rising US military threats.

Tags: south korea military, ballistic missile, moon jae-in, donald trump, japan government
Location: South Korea, Seoul, Seoul