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Japan: Pyongyang's missile launch 'provocation'
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Japan condemned Pyongyang's latest missile launch, calling it a serious act of provocation and lodged a protest against it, government officials said Saturday.

The Japanese government lodged a protest against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) through diplomatic channels in Beijing over its launching of multiple ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on Saturday, Kyodo News quoted Japanese officials as saying.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said in a statement, "It is a serious act of provocation against the security of neighboring countries, including Japan, and is against the resolution of the U.N. Security Council."

Kyodo said Prime Minister Taro Aso is expected to urge fellow leaders at Group of Eight Summit in Italy to continue coordination in dealing with DPRK's nuclear and missile development issues.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported Pyongyang launched four missiles Saturday, quoting South Korean government officials. Japan later confirmed the launch.

Kyodo cited government sources of Japan and South Korea as saying the missiles may be Rodong missiles.

The action came after Pyongyang test-fired four short-range missiles off its east coast into the Sea of Japan on Thursday.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2009)

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