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(3rd LD) Moon calls for NSC meeting over N. Korean missile launch

All Headlines 11:15 July 04, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional information in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) on Tuesday, shortly after North Korea launched what appeared to be a ballistic missile in its latest provocation.

The meeting, to start at 11:30 a.m., is expected to check the country's defense readiness against additional provocations.

North Korea fired an unidentified projectile into the East Seat from Banghyon in its northwestern Pyongan Province, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) reported earlier.

The launch took place at around 9:40 a.m., it said.

The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said the NSC meeting will be chaired by Moon's top security adviser and head of the National Security Office, Chung Eui-yong.

The latest missile provocation marked the sixth of its kind since Moon came into office May 10.

It also followed the new South Korean president's summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, in which the leaders agreed to further strengthen their deterrence against the North's nuclear and missile threats but also leave the door open for dialogue following clear steps by the communist state to denuclearize.

In a joint statement issued at the end of their talks in Washington, the two leaders "emphasized that the United States and the ROK do not maintain a hostile policy toward North Korea and, together with the rest of the international community, stand ready to offer a brighter future for North Korea if it chooses the right path."

ROK stands for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

The JCS later said the North Korean projectile flew some 930 kilometers.

The flight distance suggested the latest launch may have been aimed at ridiculing the South Korean president, who on June 23 inspected the test-firing of Seoul's new indigenous missile, the Hyunmoo-2C, which has a range of 800 km.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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