S. Korea, U.S., Japan request emergency meeting of U.N. Security Council over N.K. missile launches

NEW YORK, South Korea, the United States and Japan requested an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss North Korea's latest missile launches, officials said Monday.

The council is likely to hold a meeting on Wednesday after British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft returns from a trip, officials said.

After the meeting, the council is expected to adopt a press statement condemning the launches just as it did after the North test-fired a newly developed intermediate-range ballistic missile last month.

The North fired four missiles Monday morning local time in the second such launches after the Feb. 12 test-firing. The missiles flew about 1,000 km before crashing into Japan's exclusive economic zone waters.

The launches were seen as a show of force by Pyongyang in response to the ongoing annual joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States that the North has long denounced as a rehearsal for an invasion of the country.

Earlier, Deputy U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq denounced the launches.

"We deplore the continued violation of Security Council resolutions by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, including the most recent launches of ballistic missiles," he said at a regular briefing. "The DPRK leadership should refrain from further provocations and return to full compliance with its international obligations."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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