EU dubs North Korea’s missile fire ‘provocative’

ANKARA

North Korea’s firing of a ballistic missile, suspected to be submarine-launched — is another “provocative action”, the European Union said on Wednesday.

“It undermines the efforts by the international community to build trust, enhance security and nurture a sustained peace process on the Korean peninsula,” the EU said in a statement.

The statement came after North Korea launched a possibly submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) into open water from its east coast Wednesday morning, just a day after announcing it would hold working-level negotiations with the U.S. this weekend.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that a suspected SLBM flew around 450 kilometers (279 miles) at a maximum altitude of about 910 kilometers, according to local Yonhap News Agency — suggesting it would have traveled much further if it had been launched at a less steep angle.

“We reiterate our expectation that the DPRK [North Korea] refrains from actions that violate UN Security Council resolutions and commits to credible and meaningful diplomatic negotiations.

“Our ultimate goal remains the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement by the DPRK of its nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and its ballistic missile programmes of all ranges,” the EU said.

The bloc also looks forward to the resumption of working-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang and expressed support for all international efforts to find a diplomatic solution leading to lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.

This was the 11th round of missile launches by the North this year alone.

Even though U.S. President Donald Trump has indicated a willingness to tolerate short-range tests, the timing and involvement of an SLBM may have surprised onlookers given the plan for dialogue this Saturday.
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