China joins UN in condemning North Korea ballistic missile tests

Replicas of North Korean Scud-B missile (C) and South Korean Hawk surface-to-air missiles are displayed at the Korean War Memorial in Seoul on July 8, 2016 Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption A replica of a Scud missile (centre) similar to those believed launched by the North in July

China has joined the 14 other members of the UN Security Council in strongly condemning North Korea for test-firing ballistic missiles.

The Security Council issued a unanimous statement, agreeing to take "significant measures" in response to the latest series of launches.

North Korea has test-fired several ballistic missiles in July and August, including one from a submarine towards Japan on Wednesday.

China is Pyongyang's main ally.

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the submarine-launched missile test was the "greatest success", putting the US mainland and the Pacific "within the striking range".

But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the missile breached his country's Air Defence Identification Zone and condemned what he called an "unforgivable, reckless act" and a grave threat to Japan's security.

North Korea's missile programme

My friend the North Korean defector

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Officials told South Korean media the latest missile travelled about 500km

The UN urged member states to redouble efforts to implement sanctions against Pyongyang, including the latest and toughest measures imposed by the council in March.

North Korea has been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006.

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