World

North Korea fires short-range ballistic missile

SEOUL North Korea fired what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile yesterday that landed in the sea off its east coast, South Korea's military said, the latest in a series of missile tests defying world pressure and threats of more sanctions.

The launch was immediately reported to South Korean President Moon Jae Iin, who called a meeting of the National Security Council at 7.30 am (6.30 am Singapore time), South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The missile was believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile and flew about 450km, the Joint Chiefs said in a statement. North Korea has a large stockpile of Scud missiles, originally developed by the Soviet Union.

Modified versions have a range of up to 1,000km.

North Korea last test-fired a ballistic missile on May 21 off its east coast and on Sunday said it had tested a new anti-aircraft weapon supervised by leader Kim Jong Un.

Pyongyang has conducted dozens of missile tests and tested two nuclear bombs since the start of 2016, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

It says the programme is necessary to counter US aggression.

The United States has said it was looking at discussing with China a new UN Security Council resolution and that Beijing, Pyongyang's main diplomatic ally, realises time was limited to rein in the North's weapons programme through negotiations.

Experts say the North appears to be gaining meaningful data that is fed into its effort to build an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The White House said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the launch. 
- REUTERS

North KoreaJapanSouth Korea