(Reuters) – Russia is investigating whether a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile crashed in its waters during a test launch on Wednesday, state media said quoting the Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko.
RIA and TASS news agencies quoted Rudenko as saying the Russian Defense Ministry was investigating, but “so far we have no clear information that the missile fell in the Russian economic zone.”
The Hwasong-18 missile is at the heart of North Korea’s nuclear strike force and the test firing was a ‘strong practical warning’ to the United States and other adversaries, state media said. of the country reporting the launch.
The test was condemned by the United States, South Korea and Japan, but Russia’s Rudenko said it was a reaction to actions by Washington and its allies that “actually provoke Korea of the North to strengthen its defense power”.
North Korea has been under United Nations sanctions over its missile and nuclear programs since 2006, but the UN Security Council has been divided for several years over how to deal with them. Russia and China, who both hold veto power on the council, have said more sanctions will not help and want those measures eased.
UN Under-Secretary-General Khaled Khiari said Thursday the last North Korean missile flight lasted about 74 minutes and traveled more than 1,000 km (625 miles). Khiari said he crashed into the sea in Russia’s exclusive economic zone, but near Japanese waters.
(Reporting by Reuters; editing by David Evans)