A defiant North Korea on Friday test-fired another short-range missile and warned of more 'self- defence counter-measures' if 'hypocrites' in the United Nations Security Council slapped sanctions on it for this week's nuclear test. North Korea launched a new type short-range missile with an estimated range of 160 km from its Musudan-ri rocket launch site on its east coast, a South Korean official said.
"What the North has launched this time appears to be different from what it had launched (previously)," the official said. "It is a new type of a land-to-air missile," Yonhap news agency reported.
The North has been firing a series of missiles since Monday, when it said it successfully conducted its second nuclear test since the first one in 2006. South Korea said an increasingly belligerent North may be preparing fresh moves after Chinese fishing boats were spotted leaving a disputed sea border on the west coast.
"Our forces are watching these movements (by Chinese fishing boats) with the view that they could be signs that indicate the possibility of North Korea's aggression," Defence Ministry spokesman Won tae-jae said.
Meanwhile, defying international pressure, Pyongyang warned it will take further 'self-defence counter-measures' should the Security Council punish its second nuclear test, a stern message also directed at its allies, China and Russia, which are the veto-wielding members of the Council.
The warning issued by the North's foreign ministry came as the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the countries most affected by the test -- South Korea and Japan -- were discussing ways to respond to the reclusive communist regime's latest atomic detonation.
If the Security Council "will make further provocative actions, this will inevitably lead to North Korea's approach toward adopting stronger self-defence counter-measures," the North said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. The North called the permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France 'hypocrites'.
Its nuclear test was the 2,054th in the world, with '99.99 per cent' of such tests conducted by those five countries, Pyongyang said.
"At present, some countries were shocked at the news of the DPRK's second nuclear test. But an exceptional act has its exceptional reason," the North said.
"Those countries have posed the biggest nuclear threats in the world. But they took issue with our first nuclear test in 2006," the North said, referring to the Security Council permanent members.
South Korea and the US put their troops on higher alert on Thursday on the Korean peninsula after the North said it was ending a truce in force for half a century and warned of a possible attack. The United States currently has 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea.
In New York, the United States and Japan circulated a draft Security Council resolution to key members, condemning Pyongyang's second nuclear test and demanding strict enforcement of sanctions after the North's first atomic test in October 2006.
The Council had earlier condemned the North Korean nuclear test as a clear violation of its commitments in 2006 and planned to initiate tougher action against it in future through a resolution.