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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US condemns North Korea over missile launches

Iran Press TV

Mon Sep 5, 2016 10:36PM

The United States has lambasted North Korea for firing ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, saying the move violates UN Security Council resolutions.

According to South Korea, the North fired three ballistic missiles from a western region in the capital Pyongyang on Monday but no more details were available.

"North Korea's development of its UN-proscribed nuclear and ballistic missile programs threatens the United States; our allies, Japan and the Republic of Korea; and our partners in the region," State Department spokesman John Kirby said Monday.

Kirby added that the "reckless launches" also threaten "civil aviation and maritime commerce in the region."

"Our commitment to the defense of our allies in the face of these threats remains ironclad."

The Japanese Defense Ministry also issued a statement, saying that the launches pose "a grave threat" to Japan's national security.

The launches came hours after the leaders of South Korea and China met on the sidelines of G20 summit in the Chinese town of Hangzhou.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said at the meeting with her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that Pyongyang's nuclear tests and missile launches pose a challenge to Seoul's ties with Beijing.

She said Pyongyang's "provocations" gravely damaged peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

The North test-fired a submarine based ballistic missile on August 23 after the US and South Korea began their annual military exercises.

South Korean officials said the missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) before falling into the Sea of Japan.

North Korea has been the target of toughest-ever sanctions since it conducted its fourth nuclear test in January this year.

Pyongyang says it will not abandon its nuclear "deterrence" unless Washington ends its hostile policy and dissolves the US-led command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.

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