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Cheong Wa Dae urges N. Korea to stop launches of 'projectiles'

The office of President Moon Jae-in called on North Korea on Friday to halt launches of projectiles, expressing concern that such acts would escalate military tensions on the peninsula.


Briefing media on the results of an hourslong emergency National Security Council session held via videoconferencing, Cheong Wa Dae characterized two projectiles fired earlier in the day as "short-range" ones but stopped short of revealing other details.

The NSC standing committee session was presided over by Chung Eui-yong, head of Cheong Wa Dae's national security office.

Chung and other national security officials, who attended the meeting, made a "general review of military security conditions" on the Korean Peninsula, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

On North Korea's launches of missiles and other projectiles in recent weeks, they noted that they were aimed at protesting ongoing combined command-post military drills between South Korea and the United States.

They cited worries that the North's behavior could sharpen tensions on the peninsula and called for halts to the firing of such projectiles, Cheong Wa Dae said in a statement.

They decided to analyze the specifics of what the North lobbed into the East Sea earlier in the day through close coordination between the defense authorities of the allies.

The projectiles were fired from its eastern coastal region, the South's military announced earlier in the day.

Both flew around 230 kilometers at an apogee of 30 km and a top speed of around Mach 6.1, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

It was the North's sixth round of ballistic missile or other projectile launches since late July, seen as aimed at protesting this month's joint military exercise of South Korea and the United States.

Responding to a series of the North's rocket firings on Aug. 2, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Cheong Wa Dae held emergency meetings of "security-related ministers." Chung presided over the discussions with Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon, joined by a few other top Cheong Wa Dae officials, at the underground bunker of the presidential compound.

The participants of an NSC standing committee meeting also include foreign and unification ministers as well as presidential chief of staff and minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination.

The NSC panel convened its previous emergency session July 31 following the North's firing of two apparent short-range ballistic missiles. (Yonhap)