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Moon calls N. Korean missile launch serious threat to peace

All Headlines 16:28 May 17, 2017

SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in continued to blast North Korea Wednesday, calling its recent missile launch a serious threat to global peace and security that should never be tolerated.

"North Korea launched a missile four days ago and claims to have succeeded in launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile," Moon said while visiting the Defense Ministry in Seoul for a policy briefing.

"Launching ballistic missiles is a serious provocation that violates U.N. Security Council resolutions, as well as being a serious challenge to global peace and stability. We will never tolerate such North Korean provocations and nuclear threats," he added.

Moon's condemnation of the North's missile launch followed a statement from the U.N. Security Council which threatened fresh sanctions against the communist North.

"We will sternly deal with the North, together with the international community," he said.

The new South Korean leader also noted the country's military remained fully prepared to counter any military provocations from the North.

"Over the past few months, our political landscape has changed dramatically. I believe such changes could take place peacefully and democratically because our military firmly ensured our security," the president said.

The president also reaffirmed his earlier pledge to expand the defense budget and modernize the country's weapons system.

"I will make it my personal mission to build a sound nation, which is responsible for its own defense, defense that is not only in words but in real capability," he said.

Moon has said he will gradually increase the defense budget to 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product from the current 2.4 percent.

"Governments are limited, but our nation lives on forever. The military's defense posture must not be relaxed even for a moment despite a change of the president. We must all be responsible for our defense, and so we must all work to enhance our defense capabilities," the president said.


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