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U.S. remains prepared to engage in dialogue with N. Korea: State Dept.

All News 05:06 January 26, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- The United States remains committed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through diplomacy and dialogue, a state department spokesperson said Tuesday.

The renewed U.S. offer to engage with North Korea came after Pyongyang launched what appeared to be two cruise missiles on Tuesday (Seoul time).

"We are aware of these reports and are assessing with ROK and Japan," the department spokesperson said when asked to comment on the North's latest missile launch, which marked the fifth missile test this year.

ROK stands for the Republic of Korea, South Korea's official name.

"Broadly speaking, as we have said our goal remains the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We remain prepared to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy without preconditions to make tangible progress," the spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency, while asking not to be identified.

This combined photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sept. 13, 2021, shows a long-range cruise missile being fired, as Pyongyang test-fired new long-range cruise missiles on Sept. 11 and 12. The missiles "traveled for 7,580 seconds along an oval and pattern-8 flight orbits in the air above the territorial land and waters" in North Korea and "hit targets 1,500 km away," according to the KCNA. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Cruise missile launches are not in direct violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions against North Korea, which ban any ballistic missile testing by the country.

North Korea claims to have test fired a new "long-range cruise missile" in September, calling it a "strategic weapon of great significance."

Four previous missile launches by the North this year included two test firings of a self-claimed hypersonic missile.

Pyongyang has yet to comment on its latest missile launch.

"While we are committed to diplomacy, we will continue our efforts in coordination with the international community to prevent the advancement of the DPRK's WMD and ballistic missile programs," the state department spokesperson said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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