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(2nd LD) Blinken says N. Korea increasing instability, insecurity

All News 05:36 October 01, 2021

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead to change attribution; UPDATES with additional details, minor changes in paras 3, 8-10)
By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday expressed concerns over North Korea's recent missile launches, saying the country is increasing insecurity and instability in the region.

It marks the first time the top U.S. diplomat commented directly on North Korea's recent missile launches.

"We're concerned about these repeated violations of Security Council resolutions that create, I think, greater prospects for instability and insecurity," Blinken told reporters after attending U.S.-EU trade talks in Pittsburgh, according to the State Department.

N. Korea says it tested newly developed hypersonic missile
N. Korea says it tested newly developed hypersonic missile

This photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Sept. 29, 2021, shows what the North claims to be a new hypersonic missile being launched from Toyang-ri, Ryongrim County of Jagang Province the previous day. The report came after South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Sept. 28 North Korea fired one short-range missile into the East Sea. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korea test fired what it claims to be a "hypersonic" glide vehicle on Tuesday, about two weeks after it test launched a short-range ballistic missile.

The U.S. has condemned both missile launches as violations of "multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions."

The North is prohibited from developing or testing any ballistic missiles and other weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.

Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, said earlier Thursday that the U.S. was still assessing the latest missile launch to confirm the type of missile launched but that the U.S. homeland would remain safe from a North Korean hypersonic missile even if turned out to be one.

Seoul earlier said the new North Korean missile appeared to be still in the development stage and thus can be intercepted by U.S. and South Korean missile defense assets.

Blinken emphasized the latest missile launch violated U.N. Security Council resolutions.

"On North Korea, we're evaluating and assessing the launches that you've referred to to understand exactly what they did, what technology they used," he said. "But regardless, we've seen repeated violations now of UN Security Council resolutions that the international community needs to take very seriously."

His remark comes one day before the U.N. Security Council is set to hold a meeting to discuss the North's recent missile launches.


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