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SEOUL, March 3. /TASS/. North Korea has launched six short-range missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan, South Korean defense ministry spokesman, Moon Sang-gyun, said on Thursday.
"Six missiles presumably of 300mm caliber were launched at ten in the morning on Thursday from the vicinity of the city of Wonsan, a home to a large naval base," he said. "All fell into the Sea of Japan having covered a distance of from 100 to 150 kilometers."
The spokesman said the South Korean side continues to analyze the situation and will make public more details later. He admitted however that the missile launches might be followed by other provocative actions of North Korea. Hence, in his words, the South Korean army has been alerted.
A source at South Korea’s ministry of national defense told TASS over the phone earlier that the launch was made several hours after the United Nations Security Council imposed a new package of sanctions on Pyongyang. "We think this way North Korea is seeking to demonstrate its discontent with the actions of the world community," he said.
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday unanimously passed resolution 2270 on tougher sanctions against North Korea in retaliation for Pyongyang’s tests of nuclear weapons and the use of a ballistic missile to launch a satellite. The resolution, agreed by Russia, the United States and China, imposes serious restrictions - up to a total ban - on importing coal, iron ore, titanium, vanadium and other precious metals from the DPRK and an embargo on delivery of aviation and rocket fuel to the country. The U.N. Security Council resolution envisages the imposition of sanctions against the North Korean banking sector and targeted sanctions against a number of persons and organizations linked to the North Korean nuclear and missile programs.
The North Korean authorities announced on February 7 that they had launched a carrier rocket with the satellite Kwanmenson (the Bright Star). A month before the launch, Pyongyang held the fourth underground nuclear test over the past ten years.