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Taiwan urges North Korea to maintain regional peace

2013/05/18 22:26:53

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou on Saturday urged North Korea to exercise self-restraint and not fuel tensions in the region after Pyongyang launched three short-range missiles earlier in the day.

After a meeting with national security top brass, Garfie Li, spokeswoman of the Presidential Office, quoted Ma as stressing that Taiwan opposes any action that would undermine regional peace and that he has asked Taiwan' Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to keep a close watch on the development in North Korea.

Taiwan was aware of North Korea's launch of three short-range missiles in waters off the northeastern Korean Peninsula, and will closely monitor the follow-up developments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he said the military was on top of the situation, adding that the purpose of the launch of the missiles was probably a part of a military drill or a missile test.

The defense ministry also said in a statement that it will remain alert and take response measures if necessary.

The launch of missiles was the latest move by Pyongyang that is seen as a threat to regional peace. It conducted a long-range rocket launch in December and a nuclear test in February.

(By Lee Shu-hau and Elaine Hou)