Britain, Germany and France have asked the United Nations Security Council to meet behind closed doors on Thursday on North Korea's latest missile launches, diplomats said.

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles early on Wednesday, the South Korean military said, only days after Pyongyang launched two similar missiles intended to pressure South Korea and the United States to stop upcoming military drills.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres believed the missile launches were just another reminder of the importance of restarting talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

Ballistic missile launches by North Korea violate U.N. security council resolutions aimed at pressing the country to abandon its nuclear weapons program and Pyongyang is subject to extensive international sanctions over its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

The tests have come despite a meeting between North Korea leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump on June 30 at which they agreed to revive stalled denuclearization talks.

Both Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, played down last week's launches and Pompeo has continued to express hope for a diplomatic way forward with North Korea, which has been demanding relief from punishing U.S. sanctions and for Seoul and Washington to call off the joint exercises planned for this month.

Source: NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY