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North Korea missile test triggers UNSC meeting

The missile launches were the latest in a series of launches by the isolated North this year in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Seoul, South Korea Sep 05, 2016, 05.26 PM (IST)

The UN Security Council will convene today to discuss North Korea after the isolated communist state test-fired three ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan during the G20 summit in China, sparking condemnation from a senior US official at the meeting.

The discussion, requested by council members Japan and the United States, is slated to begin at 11:30 am local time (1530 GMT) in New York, where the council will consider a response to the latest missile launches.

North Korea fired three ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on Monday, South Korea's military said, that coincided with the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China.

The South's military said the missiles were medium-range Rodong-class, launched as a show of force timed to coincide with the G20 summit.

The missiles were fired from a region south of the capital Pyongyang just after noon local time (0300 GMT) and flew about 1,000 km (600 miles), hitting Japan's air defence identification zone, the South's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

"We are still analysing details but this is a grave threat to our nation's security, and we express deep concern," the Japan defence ministry said in a statement.

Monday’s launches were the latest in a series of launches coming from North Korea this year.

Last month, North Korea successfully launched a ballistic missile from a submarine.

Shortly after the missile launches, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met on the sidelines of the G20 summit and agreed to cooperate on monitoring the situation, a Japanese statement said.

South Korea's Park told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the North's fourth nuclear test and its ballistic missile launches this year threatened regional peace and posed a challenge to South Korea's ties with China, Yonhap news agency reported earlier.

During the meeting, Xi reaffirmed China's commitment to realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, China's state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.

Xi also told Park that Beijing opposed the proposed deployment of a THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea, which Seoul and the United States have said is designed to counter an increasing missile threat from North Korea.

“Mishandling the issue is not conducive to strategic stability in the region and could intensify disputes,” Xi told Park, according to a report from the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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