S. Korea fires shots at N. Korea after object crosses border

People watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch by North Korea at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul South Korea Sunday

People watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch by North Korea at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul South Korea Sunday

North Korea has significantly speeded up its missile tests over the past year or so and appears to be making tangible progress toward developing an arsenal that poses a threat to South Korea and Japan - which together host about 80,000 USA troops - and developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.

The Security Council statement emphasized "the vital importance" of North Korea "immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearization through concrete action".

The unidentified object was spotted in the inland Chorwon County area at about 4 p.m. local time (0700GMT), prompting troops from the South to shoot more than 90 machine gun rounds before losing sight of the object.

"Now that its tactical and technical data met the requirements of the Party, this type of missile should be rapidly mass-produced in a serial way ..., he said".

"Whoever tied the bell on the tiger shall take it off", Wang noted, saying China wishes South Korea to take concrete measures to remove the obstacles in their bilateral relations.

Analysts said that at 4,500 kilometers the Hwasong-12 had a longer range than any previous ballistic missile launched by the North, putting United States bases on the Pacific island of Guam within reach―and that it could serve as a platform to develop a long-range ICBM.

It's not the first time South Korea has reacted to an object sent across its border.

Sunday's missile test came as US President Donald Trump was on his first trip overseas, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Brussels and Italy. The North later claimed that the test was a success and that its leader Kim Jong-un approved the deployment of the new missile for combat use.

The United Nations Security Council is set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss North Korea's recent actions, including the Sunday missile test.

It has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the USA mainland.

The Unification Ministry has reaffirmed its stance that the restarting of the inter-Korean joint venture Gaeseong Industry Complex and tours to North Korea's Mount Geumgang will be promoted in line with progress in the North Korean nuclear issue.

"We call on the DPRK (North Korea) to stop further testing and allow space to explore the resumption of meaningful dialogue".

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible over its weapons programmes, although U.S. officials say tougher sanctions, not military force, are the preferred option to counter the North Korean threat.

North Korea a week earlier had successfully tested a new midrange missile - the Hwasong 12 - that it said could carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

He noted the Pukguksong-2's solid fuel is of particular concern.

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