UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council will hold closed-door consultations on Thursday to discuss a possible condemnation of North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches, UN diplomats said.

The request for a special session on North Korea came from the United States, council diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity on Wednesday. The meeting of the 15-nation council was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) on Thursday.

In what appeared to be a show of defiance, North Korea fired two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles into the sea at 2:35 a.m. Japan and Korea time (1735 GMT Tuesday), both Tokyo and Seoul said.

North Korea's first firing in four years of mid-range Rodong missiles that can hit Japan followed a series of short-range rocket launches over the past two months.

Council diplomats said Washington was expected to propose a Security Council statement that would condemn the missile firings. It was not clear whether China, Pyongyang's protector on the council, would support such a condemnation, though it has been willing to back rebukes of Pyongyang in the past.


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