Wed, Oct 14, 2009 - Page 1 News List

N Korea missile tests breach UN resolutions: Seoul


South Korea accused North Korea yesterday of flouting a UN ban with its latest short-range missile tests amid reports that the communist state is planning more launches.

The North on Monday launched five missiles off its east coast despite making a series of peace overtures to the US and South Korea in recent weeks.

The North is under pressure to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks that it quit in April, a month before it staged a second nuclear test.

The South’s Yonhap news agency said there were signs the North was preparing later yesterday for more launches, this time off the west coast.

Japan’s coast guard said the North had warned of “firing exercises” in the Yellow Sea day and night until Oct. 25.

Pyongyang nevertheless agreed yesterday to Seoul’s request for talks on various issues.

They will meet tomorrow to discuss flood prevention in a cross-border river and on Friday for talks on humanitarian issues including family reunions, Seoul’s unification ministry said.

The North on Sept. 6 released millions of tonnes of water from a dam across the Imjin river, sweeping away six South Koreans camping or fishing downstream.

Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Jung Ok-keun told South Korean lawmakers the KN-02 missiles fired on Monday have a range estimated between 130km and 160km, greater than the 120km previously believed.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said that if the launch reports were correct, “I think it’s very regrettable.”

China was less concerned.

“I believe that this will not affect the improving situation on the Korean Peninsula,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu (馬朝旭) said.

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