South Korea Fires Warning Shots At Suspected Drone Near North Korean Border
RFE/RL May 23, 2017
South Korea's military says it has fired warning shots after an unidentified object flew south from North Korea as tensions continue to rise in the region.
The military broadcast a warning to North Korea on May 23 before firing the shots, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, adding air surveillance had been boosted in the area.
It gave no further details, though the Yonhap news agency reported that more than 90 shots were fired at an object in the air, possibly a drone. After the volley of gunfire, the object disappeared from radar screens, it added.
North Korea's official news media made no comment on the incident, and there were no reports that the country had returned fire.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula were running high after Pyongyang's latest ballistic-missile test on May 21, which North Korea said backed up statements that it was advancing toward its goal of building a nuclear-tipped weapon capable of hitting U.S. targets.
Pyongyang has said it needs to develop nuclear weapons capable of reaching the United States to offset what it calls U.S. aggression.
"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 on May 23.
"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," it said.
North Korea's missile program has been banned by UN resolutions, but it has continued to test ballistic missiles and to develop its nuclear program.
North Korean officials said the latest test was conducted to confirm the reliability of late-stage guidance of the nuclear warhead and that the missile was now ready for military use.
All 15 Security Council members approved the statement, which came ahead of scheduled closed emergency consultations on May 23.
France's UN ambassador, Francois Delattre, has said a new sanctions resolution will be discussed at the May 23 session.
With reporting by AP, Reuters, and Bloomberg
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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