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South Korea fires at suspected drone from North Korea

SEOUL South Korea's military fired warning shots at a suspected drone from North Korea yesterday at the border amid tension over Pyongyang's latest missile test, which drew condemnation and a warning from China.

The identity of the object remains unclear, the military said, but Yonhap news agency said it was possibly a drone.

More than 90 shots were fired, and it disappeared from radar screens.

The incursion came with tension already high on the Korean peninsula after North Korea's test-launch of a ballistic missile on Sunday, which Pyongyang said proved advances in its pursuit of building a nuclear-tipped weapon that can hit US targets.

The US has been trying to persuade China, North Korea's lone major ally, to do more to rein in North Korea, which has conducted dozens of missile launches and tested two nuclear bombs since the start of last year, in defiance of United Nations (UN) Security Council sanctions and resolutions.

"We urge North Korea to not do anything to again violate UN Security Council resolutions," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement posted on the foreign ministry's website yesterday.

"At the same time, we hope all parties can maintain restraint, not be influenced by every single incident... persist in carrying out Security Council resolutions on North Korea and persevere with the resolution of the issue through peaceful means, dialogue and consultation."

Mr Wang was responding to reporters' questions on Monday while in Ivory Coast, according to the statement.

North Korea's official KCNA news agency, citing the spokesman for the foreign ministry, said the country had "substantially displayed" the capabilities for mounting a nuclear attack on Hawaii and Alaska and had built full capabilities for attacking the US mainland.

North Korea's recent missile tests were a legitimate act of self-defence by a "fully-fledged nuclear power", North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva yesterday. - REUTERS

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