The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has test fired a fourth short-range missile off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, rejecting calls for restraint from the UN and international community.
Without disclosing the missile type, an unidentified South Korean defence ministry official was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying that the missile was successfully launched into the East Sea on 19 May.
North Korea had already test launched three short-range guided missiles off the same coast, claimed to be part of a military exercise, increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
A South Korean military official told the news agency that the missiles are not assumed to be medium or long-range ballistic based on the trajectory and distance travelled.
"A more detailed analysis will be needed but the missiles launched may be a modified anti-ship missile or the KN-02 surface-to-surface missile derived from the Soviet era SS-21 that has a range of about 120 kilometers," the official added.
South Korea presidential office spokeswoman Kim Haing said the office, which has enhanced monitoring on North Korea, is receiving all information in real time from the defence ministry
Meanwhile, Pyongyang has not yet provided any official statement on the launches, which have been dubbed as ”provocative action” by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.
Moon, who is currently visiting Russia, has urged North Korea to restrain from further launches and resume dialogue over its nuclear programme with world powers to help reduce tensions in the region, as reported by RIA Novosti.
North Korea frequently carries out short-range missile launches but has been banned from testing ballistic missiles under new UN Security Council resolutions following its third nuclear test in February this year.