N.Korea fires missile, accuses U.S. of ‘double standards’

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North Korea fired a missile towards the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said, as Pyongyang called on the United States and South Korea to scrap their “double standards” on weapons programmes to restart talks.

The missile was launched from the central north province of Jagang at around 6:40 a.m. (2140 GMT), the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Japan’s defence ministry said it appeared to be a ballistic missile, without elaborating.

The latest test underscored the steady development of North Korea’s weapons systems, raising the stakes for stalled talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals in return for U.S. sanctions relief.

The launch came just before North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations urged the United States to give up its hostile policy towards Pyongyang and said no one could deny his country’s right to self defence and to test weapons.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in ordered aides to conduct a detailed analysis of the North’s recent moves.

“We regret that the missile was fired at a time when it was very important to stabilise the situation of the Korean peninsula,” defence ministry spokesman Boo Seung-chan told a briefing.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the launch highlighted “the destabilising impact” of the North’s illicit weapons programmes, while the U.S. State Department also condemned the test.

REUTERS