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(4th LD) Moon to chair NSC meeting over N. Korean missile launch

All News 12:17 July 04, 2017

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with reports of Moon set to chair NSC meeting in paras )

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set to chair an emergency meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) later Tuesday, the presidential office said, to personally check the country's readiness against an additional provocation from North Korea.

The meeting will be held at noon. The president earlier convened a meeting of the NSC standing committee, which is chaired by his top security adviser and head of the presidential National Security Office, shortly after the North launched what appeared to be a ballistic missile.

The meeting has been upgraded to an all-member NSC gathering that will also involve the country's top defense and security officials, including the defense minister and head of the spy agency, the National Intelligence Service.

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 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.


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