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World leaders condemn North Korea over missile launches

World leaders condemn North Korea over missile launches

North Korea had threatened to take "strong retaliatory measures" after South Korea and the United States began annual military drills last week.

North Korea launched a projectile from near Tongchang-ri in North Pyongan Province towards the East Sea at 0736 KST, South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff said early on Monday.

Obama was thinking about North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un, who's often going on about developing a nuclear warhead that can be fired atop an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The ramped-up tests come as leader Kim Jong-un pushes for a nuclear and missile programme that can deter what he calls US and South Korean hostility toward the North.

South Korea's military said the missiles were unlikely to have been intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) which could reach the United States, but flew on average 1,000km and reached a height of 260km.

North Korea's missile launch also coincided with US and South Korean military's annual exercise.

Meanwhile, China announced on February 18 that it would suspend imports of coal from North Korea for the rest of the year as part of United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang.

"The latest launches of ballistic missiles clearly demonstrate evidence of a new threat from North Korea".

The four missiles were fired from Dongchang-ri long-range missile site on North Korea's west coast, near the North's border with China.

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The launches also came three weeks after the North test-fired a new intermediate-range ballistic missile powered by solid fuel.

North Korea may have been sending a message in response to a joint U.S. It was not immediately determined what type of missiles were fired Monday.

Geng Shuang, spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the People's Republic of China opposed North Korea's launch.

The council has imposed six sets of sanctions on North Korea - two of which were adopted a year ago to significantly ramp up measures and deny Kim Jong-Un´s regime hard currency revenue.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the launch was a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Pyongyang has staged a series of missile test-launches of various ranges in recent months.

In South Korea, there was some carry-over from Friday's 1.1% slide - the largest in four months - from China moving to restrict its tour groups bound for the country.

"North Korea has ignored South Korea and the global community's constant warnings", said Hwang Kyo-ahn, South Korea's acting president, in a statement.

US national security adviser H.R. McMaster and senior South Korean presidential official Kim Kwan-jin talked by phone after the missile firings.


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