N Korea conducts nuclear and missiles tests

North Korea appears to have test-fired three short-range missiles today, the same day it conducted an underground nuclear test.

Anti-North Korea protesters chant slogans and hold signs denouncing North Korea's nuclear test, in Seoul May 25 2009.
Powered by automated translation

North Korea test-fired three short-range missiles this morning, the same day it conducted an underground nuclear test, South Korea's Yonhap news agency has reported. The communist state initially tested a ground-to-air missile with a range of 130km (81 miles) and later fired two more short-range missiles, the agency quoted sources as saying. Defence officials could not immediately confirm the reports. A source said the first missile was fired from Musudan-ri on the northeast coast, where the North fired a long-range Taepodong-2 rocket on April 5. Japan's Coast Guard said last week the communist state was warning ships not to pass through waters within a 130km radius of the town of Kimchaek on its northeast coast. Seoul officials at the time said the warning suggested an impending missile test. The North says its April 5 launch put a satellite into orbit but other nations said it staged a disguised missile test. The UN Security Council condemned the launch and tightened sanctions on Pyongyang firms. In response the North threatened more nuclear and missile tests. It announced today it had conducted a second nuclear test, more powerful than the first in October 2006. Word of the tests brought immediate international condemnation including the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner who, on a visit to Abu Dhabi, said Paris "strongly condemns" the nuclear test by North Korea. *AFP