North Korea tests seventh missile, says South Korea


Seoul : North Korea fired its seventh missile from its eastern coast Saturday, the South Korean defence ministry said, as Pyongyang raised tension in the Korean peninsula.

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The missiles, with a range of 400 to 500 km, were fired over the Sea of Japan, the ministry said.

“It is a provocative act that clearly violates UN Security Council resolutions 1695, 1718, and 1874 that bar North Korea’s every activity related to ballistic missiles,” South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement, Yonhap national news agency reported.

The ministry expressed its regret at North Korea’s escalation of tensions in northeast Asia, and called on Pyongyang to comply with the UN resolutions.

Japan also condemned the rocket launches. Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said North Korea’s action was “a serious act of provocation against the security of neighbouring countries, including Japan, and is against the resolution of the UN Security Council”.

On Thursday, South Korea confirmed that North Korea had fired four short-range missiles over the Sea of Japan, with an estimated reach of 120 to 160 km.

The missile tests Thursday were thought to be part of routine manoeuvres by the North Korean military but, because of tensions on the Korean Peninsula over its nuclear programme, a new demonstration of North Korea’s military strength was not being ruled out, broadcaster KBS quoted a defence ministry official in Seoul as saying.

The launches came as a nuclear test, earlier missile firings and threats from Pyongyang as well as tightened UN sanctions against North Korea have ratcheted up tensions with the country.