North Korea ‘fires missiles’ into sea hours after UN vote

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North Korea has fired six short-range projectiles into the sea, South Korea’s defence ministry has said, hours after the UN imposed tough new sanctions.

A South Korean spokesman told the Yonhap news agency the projectiles were fired at about 10:00 local time (01:00 GMT) from Wonsan on the east coast.

They were either rockets or guided missiles, the ministry said.

Correspondents say it is being seen as an act of defiance against the sanctions.

Hours earlier, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose some of its strongest ever sanctions against North Korea. The new measures are in reaction to North Korea’s recent nuclear test and satellite launch, both of which violated existing sanctions.

They will result in all cargo going to and from the country being inspected, while 16 new individuals and 12 organisations have been blacklisted.

The United States and North Korea’s long-standing ally China spent seven weeks discussing the new sanctions.

US President Barack Obama said the international community was “speaking with one voice” to tell the North it “must abandon these dangerous programmes and choose a better path for its people”.

However the BBC has found evidence that raises questions about how ready China is to enforce the sanctions, as coal barges continue to arrive across the border.

South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye welcomed the sanctions, saying she hoped the North “will now abandon its nuclear development programme and embark on a path of change”.

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