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U.S., 5 others urge N. Korea to end missile tests, return to dialogue: statement

All News 06:24 January 11, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- The United States and five other countries called on North Korea to cease its missile tests and engage in denuclearization negotiations on Monday.

The joint call came shortly before the U.N. Security Council was set to hold a meeting behind closed doors on North Korea's missile test that Pyongyang claims to have involved a newly developed hypersonic missile.

"We stand today unified in our condemnation of the DPRK's most recent missile launch, which the Security Council will discuss shortly," the countries said in a joint statement, delivered by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

"The DPRK's continued pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs is a threat to international peace and security," said the statement, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

This photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Jan. 6, 2022, shows what the North claims to be a new hypersonic missile being launched the previous day, three months after it first showcased the new weapons system. The report came after South Korea's military said the North fired what appeared to be a ballistic missile toward the East Sea from the northern province of Jagang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korea on Thursday (Seoul time) said it has successfully test fired a hypersonic missile the previous day.

The six countries, including Albania, Britain, France, Ireland and Japan, argued the missile test will not only advance the North's capabilities but also add to its illicit arms exports.

"The DPRK's record of weapons proliferation is clear. Each missile launch serves not only to advance the DPRK's own capabilities, but to expand the suite of weapons available for export to its illicit arms clients and dealers around the world," said the statement.

"The DPRK makes these military investments at the expense of the well-being of the North Korean people. The people of North Korea continue to suffer under a strict authoritarian regime and through an increasingly serious humanitarian crisis," it added.

The countries urged the U.N. Security Council to "stand united in opposing the DPRK's ongoing, destabilizing and unlawful actions," while calling on all U.N. member states to fulfill their sanctions obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions.

"Our goal remains the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," they said, adding the countries are prepared to engage in "serious and sustained diplomacy" with Pyongyang to that end.

"It is the DPRK that now must choose dialogue and peace over its unlawful and threatening weapons program."

bdk@yna.co.kr
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