UK and Spain admonish N. Korea over missile launch | News | DW | 31.08.2017
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UK and Spain admonish N. Korea over missile launch

The UK and Spain have both summoned North Korea's ambassadors in response to the launch of a ballistic missile over Japan earlier this week. Pyongyang responded with indifference.

The Spanish foreign ministry said Thursday it had summoned the North Korean ambassador and had made clear Spain's condemnation of his country's missile launches and nuclear weapon tests.

It said in a statement that Madrid had also demanded a reduction in the number of North Korean diplomats in Madrid, but did not say how many diplomats it wanted removed.

London followed suit later on Thursday, summoning the country's top diplomat in the UK.

"I summoned the North Korean ambassador to the (foreign ministry) today and made clear how strongly the UK condemns the regime's launch of an intermediate range missile over Japan," Mark Field, Britain's Minister for Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement.

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"North Korea's reckless actions violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions and threaten international security ... I urge the regime to end its illegal pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missiles and return to dialogue with the international community."

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, agreed on Thursday to work together to counter the threat posed by North Korea.

Sanctions busting

The UN Security Council imposed seven sets of sanctions on Pyongyang this month.

But Kim Jong-Un's nuclear missile ambitions continue, with Pyongyang announcing a plan to fire missiles towards Guam, in a move that has added to tensions after US President Donald Trump's warning to rain "fire and fury"on Pyongyang, and culminating with the North firing a missile over Japan on Tuesday.

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Diplomacy from the skies

Meanwhile, US bombers and stealth jet fighters took part in a joint live-fire drill over South Korea on Thursday.

"South Korean and US air forces conducted an air interdiction exercise in order to strongly cope with North Korea's repeated firing of ballistic missiles and development of nuclear weapons," the South's air force said in a statement.

"The wild military acts of the enemies are nothing but the rash act of those taken aback" by Pyongyang's latest missile launch, Yonhap cited the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying.

Moscow and Beijing urge caution

Moscow meanwhile on Thursday urged Washington not to use force against North Korea and said attempts to toughen sanctions would be counterproductive.

China also on Thursday condemned "destructive" calls for further sanctions, warning Japan, the US and Britain that diplomacy was needed to avert a crisis.

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jbh/kms (Reuters, AFP)

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