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(2nd LD) Cheong Wa Dae urges N. Korea to stop launches of 'projectiles'

All Headlines 12:03 August 16, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with results of NSC meeting)

SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- The office of President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea Friday to halt launches of projectiles, expressing concern that such acts would escalate military tensions on the peninsula.

Moon's office was briefing on the results of an hourslong emergency National Security Council (NSC) session, which was held in response to North Korea's firing of two "unidentified projectiles" into the East Sea earlier in the day.

In the NSC's standing committee session, presided over by Chung Eui-yong, head of the national security office, the participants agreed to maintain a firm defense posture to deal with any military situation through a joint command-post exercise between South Korea and the United States for the transfer of wartime operational control, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

In this photo from Aug. 2, 2019, provided by Cheong Wa Dae, Chung Eui-yong (3rd from R), head of Cheong Wa Dae's national security office, presides over a meeting of security-related ministers in response to North Korea's projectile launch. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

They, however, did not reveal their assessment of what the North launched, just saying that the allies will coordinate closely for related analysis.

The projectiles were fired from its eastern coastal region, the South's military announced earlier in the day.

It was the North's sixth round of ballistic missile or other projectile launches since late July, seen as aimed at protesting this month's joint military exercise of South Korea and the United States.

Responding to a series of the North's rocket firings on Aug. 2, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Cheong Wa Dae held emergency meetings of "security-related ministers." Chung presided over the discussions with Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon, joined by a few other top Cheong Wa Dae officials, at the underground bunker of the presidential compound.

The participants of an NSC standing committee meeting also include foreign and unification ministers as well as presidential chief of staff and minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination.

The NSC panel convened its previous emergency session July 31 following the North's firing of two apparent short-range ballistic missiles.


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