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(LEAD) Cheong Wa Dae keeps stern watch on N. Korea's rocket launches

North Korea 11:18 August 06, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with meeting results, details; CHANGES headline)

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top security officials on Tuesday took North Korea's latest launch of rockets seriously and agreed to beef up vigilance against related threats, Cheong Wa Dae said.

The office of President Moon Jae-in was briefing media on the results of an emergency meeting on the firing of two projectiles by the secretive communist neighbor.

Shot at 5:24 a.m. and 5:36 a.m., respectively, from the southwestern county of Kwail in South Hwanghae Province, they flew around 450 kilometers across the peninsula at an apogee of some 37 km before splashing into the East Sea, the South's military said, adding that they appear to be short-range ballistic missiles.

It's the North's fourth launch of such rockets in less than two weeks, apparently parading its military prowess in protest at ongoing joint military drills by South Korea and the United States.

Cheong Wa Dae opened the emergency meeting at 7:30 a.m., presided over by Chung Eui-yong, head of the national security office, and joined by Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and Suh Hoon, chief of the National Intelligence Service.

In the session, held at the underground bunker of the presidential compound, they analyzed the background and intention behind the series of launches by the North and reviewed the overall security situations on the peninsula, Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung said.

"Related ministers took the current situations with severity and agreed to strengthen the thorough vigilance and preparation posture, keeping a close eye on relevant situations under close coordination between South Korea and the U.S.," she added in a two-paragraph press release.



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