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N. Korean missile launches 'deeply troubling': U.N. spokesman

All News 03:18 July 20, 2016

NEW YORK, July 19 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's latest firing of three ballistic missiles is "deeply troubling" and runs counter to efforts to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula, a U.N. spokesman said Tuesday.

The communist nation fired the missiles -- two of them short-range Scud and the third an intermediate-range Rodong -- earlier Tuesday in what was seen as a show of force against the planned deployment in South Korea of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system.

"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's firing of missiles is deeply troubling. Such actions are not conducive to reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, during a regular briefing.

The United States has strongly condemned the launches as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning Pyongyang from any ballistic missile activity, and urged the North to refrain from any action raising tensions.

The U.S. also said in a statement that it would raise the issue at the U.N.

Earlier this month, South Korea and the U.S. announced a joint decision to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in the Asian nation to cope with the ever-growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

Pyongyang protested the decision to deploy THAAD, claiming it's part of a plot to invade the country and threatening to take "physical" counteractions against it. In an apparent protest against THAAD, the North also test-launched a submarine-launched ballistic missile, just a day after the decision was announced.

The North has conducted a number of missile launches this year, including a series of test-firings of the Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile. Last month, Pyongyang claimed success in its sixth test of the missile believed to be capable of reaching the U.S. territory of Guam.

The U.N. Security Council has also adopted a series of press statements condemning the launches, but the North has not paid any heed to the warnings.

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