South Korea on Friday demanded Pyongyang swiftly release a North Korean defector it had arrested on charges of attempting to abduct children in the isolated state.

The 53-year-old man, identified as Ko Hyon-chol, confessed to trying to kidnap two North Korean orphan girls and take them to the South, the agencies reported.

On the following morning the South Korean government refuted the North's statement, calling it "aimed at dividing the South Korean public". Since then, Pyongyang has test-fired a string of ballistic missiles in defiance of a new round of toughened United Nations sanctions.

South Korean conservative activists wave the national flags during a rally to support a deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, as an anti-war protester stands in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, July 15, 2016.

He lived in China for about a year before arriving in the South in 2014 via Laos and Thailand.

"The vice foreign ministers of the three countries shared the view that the North's pursuit of nuclear and missile development poses a grave and direct threat to them, and hurts peace and stability not only on the Korean peninsula but the global community as a whole", the ministry said.

The case comes amidst an ongoing dispute between North and South Korea over the issue of abduction.

Lim held separate bilateral talks with Binken on Wednesday, and they "noted with appreciation" that Seoul and Washington made a decision to deploy the Thaad system to Korea "as a self-defensive measure" against Pyongyang.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Angry residents in a rural South Korean town threw eggs and water bottles at the prime minister Friday to protest a plan to deploy an advanced US missile defense system in their neighborhood.

Pyongyang called the measure a "declaration of war", closed its last remaining channels of communication with the USA and said it would handle all bilateral issues based on its "wartime laws" - including those relating to two Americans now detained in the North.

Protesters pelted top South Korean officials with eggs and water bottles and blocked a motorcade with tractors Friday as anger spread over a plan to deploy an advanced USA missile system near a southeastern farming town.


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