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(LEAD) N. Korean missile launch underscores 'urgent' need for dialogue: White House

Diplomacy 03:00 October 20, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional remarks, more details, additional background from 4th para; ADDS photo)
By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- The United States remains ready to engage with North Korea anytime and anywhere, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday, adding that North Korea's missile tests underscored the urgent need to engage with the reclusive state.

North Korea fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile on Tuesday (Seoul time), marking its eighth missile test so far this year.

"These launches also underscore the urgent need for dialogue and diplomacy. Our offer remains to meet anywhere, anytime without preconditions," the White House Press Secretary told a daily press briefing.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki seen answering questions in a daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on Oct. 19, 2021 in this image captured from the website of the White House. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"We call on the DPRK to refrain from further provocations and engage in sustained and substantive dialogue," she added, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The State Department earlier condemned the latest North Korean missile test, calling it a "violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions."

North Korea remains unresponsive to U.S. overtures. It has also stayed away from talks with the U.S. since early 2019.

Psaki reaffirmed the U.S.' commitment to working with its allies while also reiterating U.S. commitment to the defense of South Korea and Japan.

"Our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad," said Psaki, referring to South Korea by its official name.

Her remarks came after U.S. Special Representative for DPRK Sung Kim met trilaterally with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Washington earlier in the day.

"So we remain prepared to engage in diplomacy with the DPRK, and also, of course, to work closely with our allies and partners on addressing this as it proceeds," the White House press secretary said.


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