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(LEAD) U.N. Security Council to hold emergency meeting on N.K. missile launches

All News 03:10 April 29, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with U.N. spokesman's comments, background)

NEW YORK, April 28 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting to discuss North Korea's latest missile launches, diplomatic sources said Thursday.

The United States requested the meeting after the North launched two intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missiles earlier Thursday in violation of U.N. resolutions.

The council is expected to condemn the latest launches.

Earlier, the U.S. State Department strongly denounced the North's launches as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and said it would "raise our concerns at the U.N. to ensure that international resolve remains firm in holding the DPRK accountable for these provocative actions."

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric also denounced the launches.

"These types of actions by the DPRK are extremely troubling and we would yet again encourage the DPRK to cease any further provocative actions and return to full compliance of its international obligations," he said during a regular press briefing.

According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, the North launched one Musudan missile off its east coast early Thursday, but the missile crashed seconds after launch. The North fired another Musudan later in the afternoon, but it exploded mid-air after flying several kilometers.

It was the North's second and third attempts to test the mobile missile after the first attempt earlier this month.

The U.S. also confirmed the launches, saying the U.S. Strategic Command systems detected and tracked the missiles and the North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missiles did not pose a threat to North America.

The launches were the latest in a series of provocative acts Pyongyang has undertaken to defy international pressure over its nuclear and missile program and assert the leadership of Kim Jong-un in the lead-up to next week's key meeting of the ruling Workers' Party.

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