MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed on Monday its regrets over a series of new missile launches conducted by North Korea and urged Pyongyang to return to the negotiation table.
North Korea test launched seven ballistic missiles Saturday from its eastern coast. The South Korean Defense Ministry said the missiles were Scud-type and had flown up to 500 kilometers (300 miles) before falling in the Sea of Japan.
"The series of missile launches conducted by North Korea in the past few days has not gone unnoticed. We regret the fact that a UN member-country is openly defying UN Resolution 1874 and is stubbornly refusing to heed the demands of the international community, including the states which have traditionally friendly ties with N. Korea," spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.
"We also urge Pyongyang not to carry out new steps which could deteriorate an already tense situation in the region, and return to the negotiation table," the official said.
The reclusive communist regime is banned from conducting nuclear tests or launches of ballistic missiles under UN Resolution 1718, which was adopted following North Korea's first nuclear test on October 9, 2006.
However, Pyongyang carried out a second nuclear test on May 25 this year followed by a series of short-range missile launches, and has threatened to build up its nuclear arsenal to counter what it calls hostile U.S. policies.
The move led to the UN imposing new sanctions on North Korea banning the import and export of nuclear material and all weapons except small arms.
North Korea is reported to have about 600 Scud missiles, including Hwasong-5 with a range of 300 km (190 miles) and Hwasong-6 (500 km) missiles.