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U.S. special envoy Kim holds talks on N. Korea with S. Korean, Japanese counterparts

All News 23:29 January 17, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (Yonhap) -- U.S. special envoy for North Korea Sung Kim held talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on Monday to discuss North Korea's latest missile launch, the Department of State said.

The three-way telephone conversation with South Korea's Noh Kyu-duk and Japan's Takehiro Funakoshi came after North Korea launched what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles on Monday (Seoul time).

"In his call with Special Representative Noh and Director General Funakoshi, Special Representative Kim reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as well as its ironclad commitment to the defense of its allies, the ROK and Japan," department spokesperson Ned Price said in a press release.

"Special Representative Kim expressed concern about the DPRK's missile launches, which violated multiple UN Security Council resolutions and were the latest in a series of ballistic missile launches by the DPRK this month," he added.

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

Monday's missile launch marked the fourth of its kind since the start of the year, while the North claims the first two of its recent missile launches tested a newly developed hypersonic missile.

The U.S. said it will push for additional U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea for its latest missile launches.

Still, Kim said the U.S. continues to remain open to dialogue with North Korea, according to the state department.

"(Kim) called on the DPRK to cease its unlawful and destabilizing activities and instead engage in dialogue, underscoring the United States' continued openness to meeting the DPRK without preconditions," the released statement said.

North Korea has stayed away from denuclearization negotiations with the U.S. since late 2019. It also remains unresponsive to U.S. overtures.


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