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North Korea fires 2 missiles amid US nuclear sub in South Korea, soldier crossing DMZ

The North Korean military fired two short-range missiles into the ocean on Wednesday as an apparent show of force after the U.S. deployed a nuclear-capable submarine to South Korea. 

The two missiles are only the latest in a series fired by the hermit kingdom amid protestations against U.S. presence in the region and insistence that the communist nation is only acting in self-defense.

North Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Song defended North Korea’s previous test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday, calling it a legitimate exercise in national self-defense. 

“Exercise of the right to self-defense is a legitimate right of a sovereign state which nobody can deny as it is recognized under the UN Charter and international law,” Kim said.

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North Korea holds live-fire military drill simulating South Korea invasion

This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what it says is an artillery drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Despite the tension, the speech before the U.N. Security Council marked an improvement in bilateral discussions — it was the first speech from the hermit kingdom in front of the council in approximately a decade.

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UN Security Council North Korea

The Security Council meets at U.N. headquarters in New York City to discuss the suspected intercontinental ballistic missile fired by North Korea. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

South Korea’s U.N. Ambassador Hwang Joon-kook was present at the meeting as an observing member.

The diplomatic situation is further complicated by a U.S. soldier who recently crossed the Military Demarcation Line from South Korea into North Korea.

A U.S. Forces Korea spokesperson said King was on a joint security area orientation tour on Tuesday when he “willfully and without authorization crossed the Military Demarcation Line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).”

Demarcation Line Pyongyang

A United Nations Command soldier and a South Korean soldier stand guard before North Korea’s Panmon Hall near the line separating North and South Korea in the truce village of Panmunjom. (Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)

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“We believe he is currently in DPRK custody and are working with our KPA (Korean People’s Army) counterparts to resolve this incident,” the spokesperson added.

North Korean state media has not publicly acknowledged the soldier’s crossing.

Cases of Americans or South Koreans defecting to North Korea are rare, though more than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea to avoid political oppression and economic difficulties since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, according to The Associated Press.

Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom, Greg Norman, Jennifer Griffin and Liz Friden contributed to this report.


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