South Korea condemns North missile test as 'provocation'

SEOUL – South Korea on Thursday condemned a series of missile launches by nuclear-armed North Korea as a serious provocation that threatened stability on the peninsula.

The South's defence ministry expressed particular concern over the launch Wednesday of two short-range ballistic missiles from a front-line base near the western section of the heavily guarded border. "We see the recent series of North Korean missile launches as a serious provocation toward South Korea and the international community as it endangers stability on the Korean peninsula and violates UN resolutions," ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said.

UN resolutions bar the North from conducting any ballistic missile tests. Wednesday's test was "unusual", the spokesman said, because the missiles were fired from a sensitive location close to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which has bisected the peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean war ended in a fragile armistice.

"It appeared to be aimed at delivering a message... that South Korea could be the target of surprise attacks by North Korean ballistic missiles anytime and from any place," Kim said.

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