SEOUL: South Korea on Sunday condemned North Korea’s latest short-range missile launches as “provocative” and again urged it to hold talks about a suspended jointly-run industrial park.
The North on Saturday launched three short-range guided missiles off its east coast, apparently as part of a military drill, at a time when cross-border relations remain icy after months of simmering tension.
The South and US forces had earlier been on heightened alert for any test of medium-range Musudan missiles by the North, which for weeks made threats of nuclear or conventional attacks on Seoul and Washington. The latest launch only involves short-range missiles. But it poses threats to the region and should be “stopped immediately”, said the Seoul ministry that handles cross-border affairs.
“We find it deplorable that the North does not stop provocative actions such as the launch of guided missiles yesterday,” said unification ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-Seok. “We call on the North to take responsible actions for our sake and for the sake of the international community.” The US State Department on Saturday urged the North to exercise restraint, without specifically commenting on the launches.
Tensions had shown signs of abating after a US defence official said early in May that two Musudan missiles had been moved from their launch site.