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(2nd LD) S. Korea deeply concerned about N. Korea's projectile launch: NSC

All News 11:50 March 25, 2021

(ATTN: CHANGES headline; UPDATES with NSC statement)
By Lee Chi-dong

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top national security officials expressed "deep concern" about North Korea's latest projectile launch Thursday, especially as it came amid the Joe Biden administration's review of Washington's policy on Pyongyang, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

They issued the statement following a 90-minute "emergency" meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) standing committee.

It was convened shortly after the South Korean military's announcement that the North lobbed at least two "unidentified projectiles" into the East Sea earlier in the day.

Those are suspected to be ballistic missiles. The North is prohibited from engaging in launches using ballistic missile technology under U.N. Security Council resolutions.

After in-depth discussions on the North's behavior, the NSC members "expressed deep concern" that the "missile launch" was conducted amid the U.S. policy review, it read.

This undated file photo captured from the homepage of the Rodong Sinmun shows a North Korean rocket launch. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

They checked the overall security situations on the peninsula and decided to carry out a full analysis of the North's intention, along with other countries concerned, and strengthen related consultations with them, it added.

In particular, South Korea plans to scrutinize the type of the projectiles fired and other details via cooperation with the U.S. defense and intelligence authorities.

The NSC's weekly standing committee meeting is usually held on Thursday afternoon, presided over by Suh Hoon, director of national security at Cheong Wa Dae.

Cheong Wa Dae, however, advanced the opening of the meeting for the day in response to the North's move, calling it an emergency occasion.


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