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N.K. gives IMO no prior notice on its missile launch

2017/05/16 10:12

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea did not give any prior notice of its latest ballistic missile launch to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) despite its IMO membership, a U.S. broadcaster said Tuesday.

On Sunday, the North successfully test-fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile, dubbed Hwasong-12, from Kusong, North Pyongan Province. The missile dropped into the East Sea after flying 787 kilometers eastward, with its highest altitude recording 2,111 kilometers.

The IMO, which governs the safety of shipping worldwide as a specialized arm of the U.N., has received no notice on the test-fire from the North in advance according to Radio Free Asia (RFA), which cited an IMO public relations official.

The agency strongly advises all member nations to give it prior notice of their missile launches, as navigating ships can be hit when missiles fall into the sea.

This photo, released by the North's Rodong Sinmun daily on May 15, 2017, shows the launch of the Hwasong-12 missile the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) This photo, released by the North's Rodong Sinmun daily on May 15, 2017, shows the launch of the Hwasong-12 missile the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

The North fired missiles seven times this year alone, with four of them dropping into the sea. It never gave prior notice of them, though.

In November, the agency adopted a statement expressing "grave concerns" over the North's continued missile launches without advance navigational warnings at its Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) session in London.

The North is one of 171 IMO member states.

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