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(2nd LD) Moon calls for UNSC measures against N. Korean missile launch

All Headlines 15:06 July 04, 2017

(ATTN: COMBINES previous stories; RECASTS headline, lead paras; RESTRUCTURES; TRIMS)

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday called for the U.N. Security Council's measures against North Korea for its latest missile provocation, officials at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

The president told his security and foreign relations officials to seek "UNSC measures in close cooperation with the country's allies, including the United States," Moon's chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan told a press conference.

Moon's remarks came at an emergency meeting of the National Security Council convened shortly after North Korea fired what appeared to be an intermediate missile in its latest and sixth missile launch since the new South Korean president came into office May 10.

Yoon said the North Korean projectile launched earlier Tuesday currently appeared to have an intermediate range, confirming an earlier report from the U.S. military.

Still, the press secretary noted the latest launch may have been part of the communist state's move toward developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff earlier said the projectile flew some 930 kilometers.

Moon too noted it appeared to be an intermediate range missile but said his country would handle it as if it were an ICBM.

"We plan to devise necessary measures assuming it may have been an ICBM," he told the NSC meeting, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.

"I strongly urge North Korea to come out of its delusion that nuclear and missile development ensures its safety and make a decision to denuclearize," he said.

The latest North Korean missile launch came shortly after the South Korean president returned home from a visit to Washington, where he and his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed to seek a phased denuclearization of the North, enabling a resumption of dialogue with the reclusive state following its initial steps to denuclearize.

"I express a deep disappointment and regret over the fact that North Korea staged such a provocation only a few days after President Trump and I urged North Korea to reduce its provocations, refrain from military actions that cause instability and make a strategic decision to abide by international duties and regulations," Moon said.

"North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles are a matter of our life or death that threatens the very safety and lives of our people and our allies. We will not tolerate any such threat under any circumstances."

bdk@yna.co.kr
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