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Russia Calls North Korean Missile Launches Regrettable

  • Lisa McAdams

Russian officials have criticized North Korea's missile tests, saying they undermine international efforts to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula. VOA's Lisa McAdams has more on Moscow's reaction from the Russian capital.

Foreign ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin says it is regrettable North Korea test-fired the missiles, including one with long-range capabilities, in violation of its own moratorium.

Mr. Kamynin told Russian television the missile launches are clearly at odds with long-standing international efforts to find a six-party solution to North Korea's nuclear program.

The Russian spokesman says the tests will significantly undermine stability and trust in the Asia-Pacific region.

The chief of staff of Russia's armed forces, General Yuri Baluyevsky, says that Moscow - although not informed about Wednesday's launches in advance - was able to monitor them, all the same. Russian news wires quote other officials with the armed forces as saying the North Korean missiles did not violate Russian airspace and landed in the sea, far from Russia's borders.

As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in New York, Russia will take part in Wednesday's emergency session on North Korea, which was called at Japan's request.

Russia, along with the United States, North Korea, China, Japan and South Korea, is also a member of the six-party talks, which are aimed at establishing a nuclear-free North Korea.

Pyongyang, which says its country has the right to carry out such launches, last fired a long-range missile in 1998.

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