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U.S. takes any new capability of N. Korea seriously: State Dept.

All News 12:12 January 06, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- The United States takes any new military capability of North Korea seriously, a State Department spokesperson said Wednesday.

The spokesperson also said the country is assessing the specific nature of the latest missile test by North Korea.

"We take any new capability seriously, and as we've said, we condemn the DPRK's continued testing of ballistic missiles, which are destabilizing to the region and to the international community," the department official told Yonhap News Agency when asked if the North's latest missile test warranted additional concern for the U.S. and its allies.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

North Korea on Thursday (Seoul time) reported it successfully test fired a newly developed hypersonic missile the previous day.

"We are aware of these reports, and we are assessing the specific nature of the recent launch event," the department spokesperson said.

Wednesday's missile launch marked the North's first missile test since October, and its second test launch of a claimed hypersonic missile since September.

"We are consulting closely with our allies as we assess the recent event and as we determine next steps," the department spokesperson said.

The North has stayed away from denuclearization talks with the U.S. since 2019. It is also ignoring calls for dialogue from the Joe Biden administration, which took office nearly a year earlier.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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