SEOUL – The South Korean Foreign Ministry condemned on Wednesday North Korea’s new ballistic missile launch and said that the weapon test will only increase their diplomatic isolation.
“North Korea’s repeated provocative acts pose a grave threat to the Korean Peninsula, as well as to international peace and security,” the ministry said in a statement.
Seoul’s statement was released in response to Pyongyang’s launching of a ballistic missile towards the Sea of Japan at 3:17 am South Korean local time Wednesday (1817 GMT Tuesday), the first to be conducted by Pyongyang in more than two and a half months.
According to the Pentagon, the missile tested could be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which could be the third of this kind after the first two were launched in July.
The South Korean government added that this “reckless provocation” took place in disregard of Seoul’s “sincere efforts to relieve tension and build peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
The statement from the South Korean Foreign Ministry also warned that with such an action the North will only gain “diplomatic isolation and economic hardship,” while urging Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programs as it is “the only path toward securing its own security and economic development.”
The ministry also said that Seoul and Washington will step up their deterrence against North Korean provocations and “firmly react” to any kind of provocation.
Seoul has also responded to Pyongyang’s action by firing one of their missiles, just five minutes after detecting the launch of the missile test, while South Korean President Moon Jae-in called a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC).