• UN Security Council to meet on NKorea missile launch

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    UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council will hold an urgent meeting on Monday on North Korea’s missile launch, the first test since US President Donald Trump took office.

    The United States, Japan and South Korea requested the consultations after North Korea confirmed it had “successfully” tested a ballistic missile on Sunday.

    The council meeting is expected to begin around 5 pm (2200 GMT), said the Ukrainian mission, which holds the council presidency.

    North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency said a “surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile” was “successfully test-fired” on Sunday, describing it as a “Korean-style new type strategic weapon system.”

    The missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) before falling into the sea, South Korea’s defense ministry said.

    The launch was seen as a test of the response from Trump, who pledged “100 percent” support to Washington’s regional ally Japan.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose country would be in range of a hostile North Korean missile launch, called the test “absolutely intolerable” during an impromptu press conference with Trump in Florida.

    The reclusive regime carried out more than 20 missile tests last year, one of which reached Japanese-controlled waters after a launch in August.

    North Korea is barred under UN resolutions from any use of ballistic missile and nuclear technology.

    The UN Security Council has imposed six sets of sanctions since Pyongyang’s first nuclear test in 2006.

    The latest round of sanctions imposed in November includes a cap on Pyongyang’s coal exports to China, aimed at depriving the communist state of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. AFP

    AFP/CC

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