Korean news agency is reporting that North Korea has test-fired two more
short-range missiles, even as international condemnation of its Monday test of a
nuclear bomb grows.
The Tuesday report by South Korea's Yonhap news
agency cites unnamed government sources who say the missiles were fired from an
east coast launch pad.
The report says the missiles have a range of 130
kilometers. North Korea test-fired three missiles Monday shortly after setting
off an underground nuclear device.
Late Monday, an emergency session of
the 15-member United Nations Security Council - including the United States,
Russia and China - unanimously condemned the nuclear test. The Security Council
says it is preparing a strong response to Pyongyang.
Interfax news agency
in Moscow quoted a Russian Foreign Ministry source as saying the adoption of
tough resolutions is probably unavoidable because the authority of the Security
Council is at stake.
Russia is a permanent veto-holding member of the
Security Council and has previously blocked stronger sanctions against
North Korea has repeatedly said it needs a deterrent to
protect itself from a possible attack from the United States, and accuses
America of being hostile.
The nuclear test was the biggest explosion
North Korea has ever carried out.
The test and heightened tensions
prompted Seoul Tuesday to announce plans to join a U.S. led-initiative to
intercept ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction. North Korea
has previously said it would consider such a move an act of war, and the South
had avoided joining the U.S. off-shore action in order not to provoke the
Monday's nuclear test and missile launch has triggered
condemnation across the globe.
Even China, a neighbor and traditional
ally of the communist North Korean state, says it is resolutely opposed to the
The United States has assured Japan and South Korea that it would
give them its support.
In a phone conversation Tuesday, U.S. President
Barack Obama, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister
Taro Aso agreed to work closely and to support U.N. action to curtail North
Korea's nuclear and missile activities.
Mr. Obama says Pyongyang's
nuclear program and missile launches are a grave threat to peace and security
around the world, and a blatant violation of international law.
Diplomats in New York say work is under way on a new Security Council
resolution addressing the North Korean nuclear crisis. The Council was
criticized in the past for acting too slowly against North Korea's military
Foreign ministers from Asia and Europe have also condemned
North Korea for its nuclear test.
In a draft statement Tuesday, ministers
from more than 40 countries urged the North not to conduct further tests and
return to six-nation talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons programs.
Analysts have been divided in their assessment of the reason for North
Korea's military moves. Some say North Korea may be trying to gain leverage for
negotiations with the international community; others say the test could be part
of an internal political struggle in Pyongyang.Some information for this report was provided by AFP and