Thursday, May 19

North Korea launches short-range missiles into Sea of Japan hours after UN Sanctions



North Korea has fired short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan – hours after the UN Security Council voted in favour sanctions against the regime. The South Korean defence ministry told the Yonhap news agency the projectiles were launched from Wonsan on the east coast, the BBC reports.

South Korean experts were trying to identify exactly what had been fired. It follows Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch. And it came just hours after the United Nations announced what have been described as the strictest sanctions imposed on North Korea in 20 years.

As a result, all cargo going in and out of the country will be inspected, while 16 more people and 12 organisations have been blacklisted. The United States and China spent seven weeks discussing the nature of the sanctions.

These latest missile launches also come shortly after Seoul approved its first legislation on human rights in North Korea. A total of 212 South Korean lawmakers voted for the bill and 24 others abstained in the floor vote.

It becomes law when it is endorsed by the Cabinet Council, which is considered a formality. This legislation establishes a centre responsible for collecting, archiving and publishing information about human rights in the authoritarian state.

North Korea’s state media has warned that enactment of the law would result in miserable ruin.