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North Korea missile launch poses no danger to Russia: Defense Ministry

This undated picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 7, 2017 shows the launch of four ballistic missiles by the Korean People's Army (KPA) during a military drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (via wires)
The Russian Defense Ministry has rejected claims that North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test poses a danger to Moscow as it landed about 500 kilometers from its border.
“This missile launch represented no danger for the Russian Federation,” the ministry said in a statement on Sunday carried by official Russian news agencies.
“The Russian missile attack warning systems followed the ballistic target during its 23-minute flight until its landing in the central part of the Sea of Japan (about 500 kilometers from the Russian territory),” the statement added.
North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile from the northwestern city of Kusong at around 5:30 am (2030 GMT Saturday) and it flew about 700 kilometers (435 miles) before landing in the sea between North Korea and Japan, the South Korean military said in a statement.
According to the White House, President Donald Trump has called for “stronger sanctions” against North Korea and suggested that the missile test impacted “so close to Russian soil... the president cannot imagine that Russia is pleased.”
“Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea," the White House said in a brief statement on Sunday, adding that the country “has been a flagrant menace for far too long.”
Japan has condemned the missile test as a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga saying that the missile test was a violation of the UN resolutions and that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had severely condemned it.
“North Korea's repeated missile launches are a grave threat to our country and a clear violation of UN resolutions," Abe said.
Newly-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in also condemned the launch as a "reckless provocation.”
"The president... expressed deep regret over the North's reckless provocation staged only days after the beginning of the new administration in the South," said spokesman.
China, North Korea's only major ally, however, urged restraint by “all relevant parties” in the wake of the test.
Tensions have been soaring high on the Korean Peninsula over the past weeks.
Unsettled by North Korean missile and military nuclear programs, the United States has adopted a war-like posture, sending a strike group to the region and conducting joint military drills with North Korea’s regional adversaries, Japan and South Korea.
Pyongyang defends its missile and nuclear programs as means of protecting the country from US hostility.
North Korea is already under multiple sets of international sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The sanctions, however, have done little to deter the country from pursuing its nuclear and missile ambitions, which Pyongyang sees as a deterrent against a potential invasion by its adversaries.

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