North Korea fires short-range projectiles into sea

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - North Korea fired six short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast Thursday, Seoul officials said, just hours after the UN Security Council approved the toughest sanctions on Pyongyang in two decades for its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

See Full Article

The North's launches also come shortly after Seoul's parliament passed its first legislation on human rights in North Korea.

Defence spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said the projectiles were fired from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan, adding authorities were trying to determine what exactly North Korea fired. The projectiles could be missiles, artillery or rockets, according to the Defence Ministry.

A South Korean official from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who did not want to be named, citing office rules, said that North Korea fired six projectiles that flew about 100 to 150 kilometres (60 to 90 miles) before landing in the sea.

North Korea routinely test-fires missiles and rockets, but it often conducts more weapons launches when angered at international condemnation.

Thursday's launch was seen as a "low-level" response to the UN sanctions, with Pyongyang unlikely to launch any major provocation until a landmark ruling Workers' Party convention in May, according to Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

The U.S. State Department said it had seen reports of the launches and was monitoring the situation.

Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test in January, making the widely disputed claim that it successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb. Last month, it put a satellite into orbit on a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others see as a cover for a test of banned ballistic missile technology.

The new UN sanctions include mandatory inspections of cargo leaving and entering North Korea by land, sea or air; a ban on all sales or transfers of small arms and light weapons to Pyongyang; and expulsion of diplomats from the North who engage in "illicit activities."

South Korea's National Assembly passed the human rights bill shortly before the UN sanctions were unanimously approved. The Cabinet Council endorsed the bill on Thursday. It will become law after it is signed by President Park Geun-hye.

North Korea has warned that enactment of the law would result in "miserable ruin." It views any criticism of its rights situation as part of a U.S.-led plot to overthrow its government, a reason why it says it needs nuclear weapons.

The bill would establish a centre in South Korea's Unification Ministry tasked with collecting, archiving and publishing information about human rights in North Korea. It is required to transfer that information to the Justice Ministry, a step parliamentary officials say would provide legal grounds to punish rights violators in North Korea when the two Koreas eventually reunify.

In 2014, a UN commission of inquiry on North Korea published a report laying out abuses such as a harsh system of political prison camps holding up to 120,000 people. The commission urged the Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court over its human rights record.

-----

Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 2 Canadians among dead in Mexico nightclub shooting [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    CANCUN, Mexico — Two Canadians are among five people killed today in a shooting attack at an electronic music festival in Mexico’s Caribbean coast resort of Playa del Carmen. And the Canadian government says at least two Canadians were among the injured in the same attack. Source
  • Unethical behaviour? Following Bahamas trip, Trudeau investigated over use of Aga Khan’s helicopter

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — The federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner has launched an investigation into the circumstances of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s New Year’s holiday in the Bahamas, Postmedia Network has learned, the first time a sitting prime minister has come under scrutiny by the independent parliamentary watchdog. Source
  • 'I fought back': A mother's fight to clear her name in toddler death

    Canada News CTV News
    Two decades after her toddler Jenna was brutally murdered by a teenaged babysitter, Brenda Waudby is finally getting the opportunity to grieve. The single mother from Peterborough, Ont., has never had the opportunity to properly mourn the loss of her almost two-year-old daughter because she spent nine years trying to clear her name as a murder suspect in the case and another seven years refuting allegations of child abuse. Source
  • British pound drops to lowest since 1985 as Theresa May to outline Brexit plan

    World News CBC News
    The British pound fell to its lowest since 1985 on Monday after speculation ramped up that British Prime Minister Theresa May will lay out her plans for a so-called "hard Brexit" from the EU to European lawmakers tomorrow. Source
  • UN official: 10,000 civilians killed in Yemen conflict

    World News CTV News
    SANAA, Yemen -- The United Nations' humanitarian aid official in Yemen said Monday that the civilian death toll in the nearly two-year conflict has reached 10,000, with 40,000 others wounded. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' Jamie McGoldrick told reporters the figure is based on lists of victims gathered by health facilities and the actual number might be higher. Source
  • Car vs. bike: Driver pushing cyclist, caught on video

    Canada News CTV News
    Ottawa police say they will not lay charges after a startling confrontation captured on video, in which a driver can be seen using his vehicle to push a cyclist at an intersection. The video shows a man on a bike and another man in a grey car arguing with each other at a busy intersection in Ottawa, where bike lanes run alongside vehicle lanes. Source
  • Kids born to opioid-addicted moms seem to fare poorly in school

    World News CBC News
    Neonatal abstinence syndrome occurs when addictive drugs such as opioids or sedatives pass through the placenta during pregnancy. (Torsten Mangner/Flickr) Children exposed to addictive drugs in the womb may be more likely to perform poorly in school, Australian researchers report. Source
  • Ethics watchdog investigates Trudeau's vacation in the Bahamas

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's ethics commissioner has launched an investigation into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family vacation to the Aga Khan's private island home in the Bahamas. In a letter to Conservative ethics critic Blain Calkins that is stamped "Confidential" and was obtained by CBC News, Mary Dawson said she is "satisfied" the issues he has raised about Trudeau's travel meet the requirements for an investigation. Source
  • New Brunswick university establishes new cybersecurity institute

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- The University of New Brunswick opened a new cybersecurity institute Monday in hopes of establishing an educational hub for one of the most pressing issues in the information age. University officials, industry partners and members of the federal and provincial governments announced the launch of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity in Fredericton. Source
  • World’s 8 richest men own as much as 3.6 billion poorest

    World News Toronto Sun
    DAVOS, Switzerland — The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday. Source