S. Korea fires shots at N. Korea after object crosses border

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The South responded with machine-gun fire after an unidentified North Korean aircraft crossed the DMZ early past year.

Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the ruling Workers' Party, published dozens of colour photos of Sunday's Pukguksong 2 missile launch, including several pictures of the Earth taken from a high altitude (the missile reached a maximum altitude of 560 km), Efe news reported.

North Korea agreed to freeze and eventually dismantle its plutonium-based bomb program in return for economic rewards under the Geneva accord in 1994.

North Korea has defied all calls to rein in its nuclear and missile programs, even from China, its lone major ally, saying the weapons are needed for legitimate self-defense.

There was no immediate comment in North Korea's state-run media, and no reports that the North had returned fire.

The test of a Pukguksong-2 might be part of attempts to stabilize the system before operationally deploying the missiles, said Kim Dong-yub, an analyst at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies.

The South Korea military fired warning shots at an unidentified object crossing the inter-Korean border from North Korea Tuesday afternoon.

China's Xi says willing to help end rift with South Korea
The long-disputed THAAD deployment was constantly opposed by China, which has urged a peaceful solution to the Korean crisis. Chinese official media quoted Xi as saying China is committed to resolving any issues through dialogue and coordination .

North Korean drone flights across the border are unusual, but have happened before.

The object, which the South Korean military said was no longer visible, was spotted two days after Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile - its second missile test in seven days.

President Donald Trump, now in the midst of his first foreign trip as president, had no immediate public comment on the test.

In an interview with "Fox News Sunday" U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the ongoing testing is "disappointing" and "disturbing". First tested in February, it uses solid rocket fuel.

South Korea's military downplayed this assertion, saying the missile's flight range was projected to be less than 4,500 kilometers, not long enough to hit the United States mainland but able to target U.S. military bases in Guam, about 3,400 kilometers away from the North.

Early last week, the UN Security Council demanded that North Korea desist, saying that they need to "immediately [show] honest commitment to denuclearization through concrete action".

"The repeated provocation is a reckless and irresponsible behavior, like pouring cold water on the wishes of our new government and the worldwide community for denuclearization and peace to prevail in the Korean Peninsula", said a statement from South Korea's Foreign Ministry. That makes then easier to spot and easier to destroy than the solid-fuel variety.