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S. Korea to call for UNSC panel probe into N.K. missile launch

All Headlines 15:44 March 10, 2016

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is considering sending a letter to a sanctions panel under the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) to call for a probe into North Korea's launch of two ballistic missiles, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The communist state fired the missiles into the East Sea at around 5:20 a.m. in an apparent protest against the ongoing military drills between South Korea and the United States, which it denounced as a rehearsal for a northward invasion.

"Any launch that uses ballistic missile technology is a violation of UNSC resolutions," ministry spokesperson Cho June-hyuck said during a regular press briefing.

"The government is consulting with other nations over diplomatic responses (to the missile launch) and considering other necessary steps, including sending a letter to the UNSC sanctions panel."

Sending a letter to the panel is considered to be a relatively lenient response to the North's latest provocation. But it is intended to call international attention to the North's violation of UNSC resolutions and is expected to help justify tougher sanctions should Pyongyang engage in another provocation in the future.

After the sanctions panel receives the letter, a group of experts will initiate an investigation into the North's provocation, the outcome of which will later be reported to the UNSC, Seoul officials explained.

In May, Seoul sent a letter to the panel to ask for an investigation into Pyongyang's ejection test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile. It also sent letters to the panel after the North fired a series of short-range ballistic missiles on several occasions in 2014.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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