S Korea condemns North missile test as ‘serious 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. The test was personally monitored by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who was quoted by the official KCNA news agency as urging all missile units to maintain heightened combat readiness. 

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