India expresses concern over North Korea’s missile tests

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New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) India on Friday expressed concern over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, saying it posed a grave threat to international peace and stability.

“DPRK’s (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s) continued pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and its proliferation links pose a grave threat to international peace & stability,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

“They have also adversely impacted India’s national security,” it stated.

On July 4, North Korea claimed that it successfully test-fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on the orders of leader Kim Jong-un.

According to state broadcaster KCTV, the Hwasong-14 missile was fired around 9.40 a.m. (local time) from North Pyongan province and it reached an altitude of 2,802 km and flew 933 km for about 40 minutes before hitting a target in the East Sea.

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According to Takahiro Hirano, public affairs officer from Japan’s Ministry of Defence, the missile flew into waters east of the Korean Peninsula and may have landed in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from its coastline.

“India calls upon DPRK to refrain from such actions that undermine international peace and stability,” Friday’s External Affairs Ministry statement said.

“We also urge the international community to work together to hold accountable all those parties that have supported these programmes.”

Earlier in the day, speaking at an informal meeting of the leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed similar concerns.

“Current developments in the Gulf and North Korea and East Asia as a whole are a cause of concern,” he said.

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