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New York [US], September 16 (ANI): The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold an emergency meeting on North Korea in the wake of the latest ballistic missile launches, diplomats said on Wednesday.
North and South Korea conducted ballistic missile tests within hours of each other, displays of military power that raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula amid stalled talks over Pyongyang's nuclear program, reported Daily Sabah.
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that they are concerned by the latest ballistic missile launches by North Korea.
"Diplomatic engagement remains the only pathway to sustainable peace and complete, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," said Dujarric, reported Daily Sabah.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said at least two ballistic missiles were launched from the central part of North Korea and fired into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.
According to the South Korean military, the North Korean missiles flew 800 kilometres (500 miles) toward the Sea of Japan after being launched inland.
UN resolutions ban North Korea, a self-declared nuclear power, from any tests of ballistic missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads depending on their design.
Hours later, South Korea said one of its submarines had for the first time successfully fired a domestically-built ballistic missile underwater, reported Daily Sabah.
Wednesday's military tests began with the North's test-firing of two ballistic missiles. The launch came two days after Pyongyang announced a successful test-fire of what it said was a new type of long-range cruise missile. It was the North's first missile test in six months, reported Daily Sabah.
North Korea called the missile a "strategic weapon of great significance," a term used to indicate that the new guided missiles have the potential to carry nuclear warheads, according to experts.
According to South Korean President Moon Jae In's office, the SLBM was fired from a 3,000-ton-class submarine. The missile covered the intended distance and reached its target, it said.
Moon monitored the submarine missile test as it happened. He said afterwards through a spokesperson that it had been planned long in advance but that nevertheless, his country's "improved missile performance can be a sure deterrent to North Korea's provocation."
North Korea has warned of a complete collapse in bilateral relations following Moon's criticism.
Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, accused Moon of carelessly using the word "provocation" in connection with the test, reported Daily Sabah.
Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga condemned the test, saying it threatened "the peace and security of Japan and the region."
Since leader Kim Jong Un's failed summit with former US President Donald Trump in Vietnam in February 2019, talks on halting the country's missile program have stalled.
At a party congress earlier this year, Kim announced his country would continue to pursue a path of nuclear deterrence with new weapons, including new intercontinental ballistic missiles. (ANI)