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South Korea says North's long-range missile failed

Written by: Staff
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SEOUL, July 5 (Reuters) North Korea's firing of missiles today was ''unwise'' and the launch of its long-range Taepodong-2 missile ended in failure, a South Korean security official said.

Suh Choo-suk, a senior security secretary for the presidential Blue House told reporters at a briefing that Seoul seriously regretted the launch and urged North Korea to return to stalled talks on ending its nuclear weapons programmes.

Suh said that, based on intelligence data, North Korea appeared to have also launched five of its intermediate-range Scud and Rodong missiles at a separate location apart from the site used to launch the Taepodong-2.

''We believe the Taepodong-2 fired by the North dropped into the East Sea (Sea of Japan) and failed,'' Suh said.

''By going ahead with the launch despite warnings, North Korea has reinforced a hardline stance against itself in the international community and deepened its isolation,'' Suh said, adding the test hurt regional security and inter-Korean relations.

He said South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun would chair a meeting of security ministers that was scheduled to start at 11 a m local time (0200 GMT).

REUTERS DH BST0752

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