'Peace momentum to continue despite North Korean missile launches'
SEOUL - South Korea's Presidential Office, Cheong Wa Dae, has expressed its intention to continue the momentum of inter-Korean dialogue despite North Korea's latest firing of ballistic missiles.
A source from the Presidential Office, who requested anonymity, said the missiles fired by the North on July 25 were presumed to be new short-range ballistic missiles.
"The Government cannot decide whether the United Nations Security Council will impose sanctions," he said. "That is for the Security Council to decide."
Despite the launch, the source said Seoul's aim of achieving inter-Korean peace remained unchanged.
The Ministry of National Defence in Seoul said the North on July 25 fired two short-range missiles off the east coast at midnight. The first had a maximum height of 50-60 km during its trajectory, and flew about 430 km, while the second reached a similar altitude and flew for about 690 km.
The launches came 77 days after short-range ballistic missiles were fired from the North's Pyonganbuk-do Province on May 9, and 25 days after the North and the U.S. held a meeting at the truce village of Panmunjeom in the Demilitarized Zone.
Meanwhile, South Korea's National Security Director, Chung Eui-yong, and U.S. National Security Adviser, John Bolton, have discussed bilateral co-operation and issues concerning the Korean Peninsula at a meeting in Seoul.
Cheong Wa Dae Spokesperson, Ko Min-jung, said in a statement that Chung explained the intrusion into Korea's air defence identification zone (KADIZ) by Russian and Chinese combat planes.
Bolton responded by saying Seoul and Washington should closely co-operate if a similar situation recurs.
Both officials reaffirmed that working-level talks between North Korea and the U.S., something the two sides had agreed to on June 30, should be resumed as soon as possible to achieve real progress in talks on denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, the statement said.
Chung and Bolton had also agreed to join global efforts for the safe navigation of commercial shipments, especially discussions to ensure free navigation and maritime safety in the Strait of Hormuz.