13:17 GMT +322 October 2017
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    The long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) is launched during a test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

    Seoul May Launch Preemptive Strike in Case of ‘Imminent’ Pyongyang Attack

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    South Korea may carry out a preemptive strike if it becomes evident that North Korea will launch a massive missile attack against the country, South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Monday morning, North Korea officially confirmed that it had conducted the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile a day before. The missile fell in the Sea of Japan outside of Japan's special economic zone. The missile reached an altitude of 2,000 kilometers (1,245 miles), a first for a North Korean missile.

    "Our position is that we can launch a preemptive strike to reduce damage on our side if there are clear signs of an imminent North Korean missile attack," Han said at the session of the South Korean Parliament’s National Defense Committee, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

    The South Korean defense minister stressed that after the assessment of the recent North Korean missile test, both Seoul and Tokyo agree that Pyongyang might have launched an intermediate-range missile, instead an intercontinental one.

    North Korea has carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests in recent months, all of which are considered to be in violation with the UN Security Council resolution. Pyongyang's actions are also seen as a threat by its neighbors, Japan and South Korea, and their allies, such as the United States.

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    launch, Han Min-koo, South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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