May 19 - In response to North Korea's recent missile launches, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges Pyongyang to return to talks and avoid further provocation. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern on Sunday (May 19) over North Korea's launch of short-range missiles, urging Pyongyang to refrain from further launches and return to stalled nuclear talks with world powers.
Ban, who spoke to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti during a visit to Moscow, called North Korea's launch of three short-range missiles from its east coast on Saturday a "provocative action".
"We have been very much concerned about these continuing provocative measures by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Of course you know, I know that South Korea authorities, and all other neighbouring countries must have been following the situation very closely. I have been briefed about this. This time I know that they have launched the three short range missiles. I only hope that DPRK authorities will refrain from taking further such measures. It's time for them to return to the dialogue, to reduce the tension, and resolve whatever grievances or complaints or concerns that they may have, try to resolve through dialogue," Ban said.
Launches by the North of short-range missiles are not uncommon but, after warnings from the communist state of impending nuclear war, such actions raised concerns about regional security and prompted Western powers to urge restraint.
Tension on the Korean peninsula has subsided in the past month, having run high for several weeks after Pyongyang's third nuclear test in February.
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