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North Korea missile test a 'threat to international peace', EU says

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Brussels | Sun, May 14, 2017 | 07:50 pm
North Korea missile test a 'threat to international peace', EU says Matt Pottinger, Special Assistant to US President Donald Trump and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for East Asia (center) and Kim Yong Jae, North Korea’s minister of external economic relations (right) arrive for the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) in Beijing on May 14, 2017. China touted on Sunday its new Silk Road as "a project of the century" at a summit highlighting its growing leadership on globalization, but a North Korean missile test threatened to overshadow the event. (AFP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool)

North Korea's test-firing of a ballistic missile constitutes a "threat to international peace and security" as Pyongyang ratchets up tensions in the region, an EU spokesperson said Sunday.

"This and previous launches constitute a threat to international peace and security and further aggravate tensions in the region at a time when de-escalation is instead needed," the spokesperson said in a statement.

The missile was launched early Sunday and flew more than 700 kilometers (435 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

Several analysts saw the launch as a test for South Korea's new President Moon Jae-in, a liberal who has said he wants to ease tensions with the North.

"The DPRK is expected to comply with its international obligations: it must halt these launches and abandon its ballistic missiles programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner," the EU spokesperson said, referring to North Korea by its official name.

The statement also said the EU was ready to support "a credible and meaningful dialogue" between Pyongyang and international leaders.

But multiple sets of UN and US sanctions against North Korea have done little to deter its pursuit of its nuclear and missile ambitions.

The latest test was the North's first launch since a US missile defense system that has been deployed in the South became operational on May 2, and comes shortly after a failed ballistic missile test on April 29.

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