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Summary of external news of North Korea this week

All News 16:00 September 17, 2021

SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of external news of North Korea this week.

Top nuke envoys of S. Korea, Japan hold talks amid renewed tensions over N.K. missile launch

TOKYO/SEOUL, Sept. 13 (Yonhap) -- The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan held talks in Tokyo on Monday to discuss cooperation in resuming dialogue with North Korea, amid renewed tensions caused by Pyongyang's recent cruise missile launches.

The talks between Seoul's chief nuclear negotiator, Noh Kyu-duk, and his Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi, came on the eve of their trilateral meeting with the U.S. special representative for the North, Sung Kim.

Earlier in the day, the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported that the country test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missile Saturday and Sunday in a low-intensity provocation amid stalled nuclear talks with the United States.

U.S. military says N.K. missile launches show threats it poses to int'l community

SEOUL, Sept. 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's test-firing of long-range cruise missiles shows the threats the country poses to the region and beyond, the U.S. military said.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said earlier Monday the country successfully test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missiles over the weekend with the missiles hitting targets 1,500 kilometers away.

"We are aware of reports of DPRK cruise missile launches. We will continue to monitor the situation and are consulting closely with our allies and partners," the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement released just hours after the North's announcement.

U.S. remains open to diplomacy with N. Korea after latest missile launch: White House

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (Yonhap) -- The United States remains open to diplomacy and dialogue with North Korea, a White House spokesperson said Monday, despite North Korea's missile launch that it said poses threat to U.S. allies in the region.

Karine Jean-Pierre, principal deputy spokeswoman for the White House, said the U.S. offer to meet anywhere, anytime also remains unchanged.

"So you know our position has not changed when it comes to North Korea," she said when asked aboard the Air Force One en route to Boise, Idaho where President Joe Biden was later set to deliver remarks on wild fires.

U.S. ready to help address N.K. humanitarian concerns regardless of denuclearization: envoy

TOKYO/SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- The United States is prepared to work with North Korea to address its humanitarian concerns "regardless of progress on denuclearization," Washington's point man on Pyongyang said Tuesday.

Ambassador Sung Kim made the remarks after holding three-way talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, Noh Kyu-duk and Takehiro Funakoshi, respectively, in Tokyo to discuss humanitarian aid and other incentives to resume dialogue with the North.

The talks came amid renewed security concerns over Pyongyang's weekend test-firings of long-range cruise missiles and signs of its reactivation of a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor.

Chinese FM visits S. Korea for talks amid renewed N.K. tensions

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in South Korea on Tuesday for talks with Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong amid renewed tensions in the wake of North Korea's test-firings of long-range cruise missiles.

Wang landed at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on a private plane at night for a two-day trip, just days after the North test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missile over the weekend while also showing signs of reactivating a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor.

He is scheduled to hold talks with Chung on Wednesday where they are expected to discuss the North's missile launches and efforts to bring Pyongyang back to dialogue amid the prolonged deadlock in the denuclearization talks with the United States.

S. Korea develops supersonic cruise missile amid tensions with N. Korea

SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday unveiled the development of a supersonic cruise missile to improve its maritime defense capabilities just days after the North fired a new long-range cruise missile in a sign of accelerating military competition between the two Koreas.

According to the defense ministry, the state-run Agency for Defense Development completed the new missile development late last year.

"With improved speed, the new missile will make it very difficult for enemy warships to respond, leading to the missile's higher survivability and destructive power," the ministry said in a release. "It is expected to serve as a core asset to counter forces that approach our territorial waters."

U.S. condemns N. Korean missile launch, urges Pyongyang to return to dialogue

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. State Department on Wednesday condemned North Korea's ballistic missile launches, calling the act a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that poses a threat to its neighbors and the international community.

A department official, however, said the U.S. remains committed to dialogue with the North.

"The United States condemns the DPRK's missile launch," the department spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency while speaking on condition of anonymity.

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