US and Japan request urgent UN meeting on North Korea launch

The United States and Japan have requested an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council on North Korea's launch of two ballistic missiles.

France, which holds the council presidency, said closed consultations will take place late Wednesday afternoon.

A letter from the U.S. and Japan said that after consulting with South Korea they were requesting a briefing from the U.N. Secretariat.

U.S. and South Korean officials said North Korea fired two suspected powerful new Musudan midrange ballistic missiles on Wednesday, its fifth and sixth such attempts since April.

The Security Council, which has imposed five rounds of sanctions on the North, strongly condemned three previous launches on June 1, calling them "a grave violation" of a ban on all ballistic missile activity that contributed to the country's nuclear weapons program.